Angela's Reviews > All Woman and Springtime

All Woman and Springtime by Brandon W. Jones
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May 04, 12

bookshelves: ala-2012, the-list
Read from April 30 to May 04, 2012 — I own a copy

** spoiler alert ** Hmm. Well, I really liked the parts set in North Korea. It was interesting to enter into the perspective of someone who has actually grown up with the idea that all of the things North Korea says about itself are true. It was also sobering, because I usually hear more about the crazy stuff the leaders of Korea say, so don't think so much about the quality of life of the actual citizens. And if this book is to be believed, there isn't much of it. It amazes me that things like the gulags still exist in our world.
I didn't really like the parts about the forced prostitution, but it was eye-opening. I'm sure others have tackled this subject, but it's the first time I've personally encountered it in fiction. And while I'm here, let me mention how impressed I was with Jones' ability to write from a woman's point of view. Considering the book consists almost entirely of the impressions of women, that is crucial to the success of the story. Even some very intimate details seem true to my own experience.
I guess the biggest problem with this book is that I feel it tries to tackle too much. The North Korean experience PLUS the forced prostitution PLUS homelessness PLUS the happy ending is a little too much. The book eventually breaks down. The homelessness section, especially, seems kind of simplistic. It sounds kind of like a vacation, where the remaining characters gets to do nothing but read books and think about math, which she loves. I think the author felt this section was necessary because it was realistic that she would be homeless after escaping the brothel. But I think a little unrealisticness would have gone better here--that she would somehow be rescued from the brothel by someone discovering her facility for mathematics would FEEL realer than a homeless life described in a lackadaisical way. If it's not done well, it would be better to skip it, in my mind.
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