On the night Janie waits for her sister, Hannah, to be born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, so Janie is charged with keeping Hannah safe. As time passes, Janie hears more stories, while facts remain unspoken. Her father tells tales about numbers, and in his stories everything
More lists with this book...
The writing reminded me of aspects of both Shaker furniture and Ishiguro's best works---it was perfectly crafted, dealing with big themes in an understated and unadorned but rich and beautiful manner. And the characters broke my heart in the best way possible.
Throughout the book, I wanted more. More emotion, more background, more explanation, more exposition. For a first p ...more
instead, this is a book about two adult daughters & a wife standing vigil while the pa ...more
Hannah is missing and her parents expect her older sister, Janie, to find her. Nobody knows where she has gone or ...more
I was under the impression that this book was going to be about Janie's search for her younger sister, which it isn't really.
Instead, I was met with a young Korean-American woman, who reminisced about her times as a childhood and other family stories. (I am secretly grateful it wasn't a mystery novel after all.)
Janie's devotion to her heritage and family is tested, however its not really a book about how she came out stronger or better or smarter, ...more
Soon after we meet this family, however, it see ...more
"I s ...more
Hannah, her younger sister, has a bit more moxie. When the family’s traditions start to weigh her down, she runs away to California without leaving a forwarding address. Janie’s resentment toward her grows when their father is diagnosed with cancer and eventually decides to ...more
Catherine Chung takes a look at the pain of estrangement and the desperate ways people try to bridge the gaps left by estrangement in this beautifully written novel, Forgotten Country.
Why is the cover pink and baby-blue with flowers and yarn-like patterns? VERY MISLEADING. Give this book the serious, somber cover it deserves!
Janie and Hannah grew up in Michigan, but their family immigrated to the US from Korea. Janie's college-aged younger sister Hannah has gone ...more
I received an ARC of this book as a participant in BOOK CLUB, a joint venture between Linus' Blanket and Devourer of Books.
Riverhead books describes Forgotten Country: “Weaving Korean folklore and history within a modern narrative of immigration and identity, Catherine Chung delivers a fierce exploration of the inevitability of loss and the conflict between loyalty and freedom. Forgotten Country marks the debut of a graceful, astonishing new voice in fiction, one with a quiet ferocity that will ...more
At the heart of this novel are two sisters born in Korea and raised in America by immigrant parents. Younger sister, Hannah, mysteriously leaves, and Janie has the burden and responsibility placed on her by her family to find her and bring her home. The girl's father has become ill, and the urgency to bring Hannah ho ...more
Here are a couple of interesting insights/conversations I like ...more
The main character Janie is trying to get her doctorate in math. She was born in Korea and was transplanted to Michigan with her mother father and sister. The books starts out with Janie's sister Hannah disa ...more
The older sister was bullied in school because ...more
Share This Book
I waved, trying to get his attention as he walked up and down the platform trying to figure out where I was sitting. From up in the train, he looked so small. If he'd seen me, he would have smiled and waved, but he didn't know I could see him, and the sadness on his face was exposed to me then. He looked lost. He stood there on the platform a long time, even after my train started pulling away, still trying to catch a glimpse of me waving back.”