Elizabeth's Reviews > A Step from Heaven

A Step from Heaven by An Na
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's review
Feb 18, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: adolescent-literature
Read in February, 2012

A Step from Heaven used unique writing styles and deep characters to share a story of culture, struggle, and perseverance. An Na's writings of aspects of Korean culture was a very interesting element of the story. Some of these cultural trends were deviant of the stereotypical elements of this culture that I had. The description of a very aggressive father was different than what I may have initially thought of. As a reader, I became emotionally involved with the character, at times becoming angry. I became especially angry with Apa, the father. Na successfully portrayed a cultural trend of pride and independence. As Young Ju's mother was very upset when Young Ju borrowed lunch money from a friend or when Apa struggled to provide for the family. I was appalled by Apa's behavior throughout the book. His rude comments, demeaning reactions, and his inhumane abuse of his family caused me to become very upset. An Na's writing proved successful at this point as the writing drew me into the story. Na also seemed to capture the language of Young Ju as a child and as she grew up to become a college student. Na also did a good job of capturing Young Ju's personality and the consistency of these personality traits throughout Young Ju's growing up years. A suggestion I would have for the book would be to have a glossary or definitions of the Korean words used in the book to add clarity for the reader. I, fortunately, had the translations given to me, but other readers may not have had these translations.

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