Everything Belongs to Us
Seoul, 1978. At South Korea's top university, the nation's best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success cou ...more
Yesterday I spent a full day - [so it felt] - traveling from California to Florida. I have several books I could have chosen for 'airport-emergency-comfort-reading'.
While 'test-reading' a few of my choices from my Kindle- I would never have believed THIS BOOK TOOK FIRST PLACE ... from my 5% 'emergency-testing'!
My game was ...."Read 5% of 3 books. The book with the most interesting 5% beginning is what I would read in the air. ( an ...more
1978 Seoul, Korea is when and where this story begins, telling the stories of two men and two women, primarily. One of the women from a very wealthy family - Jisun, the other – Namin, the daughter of parents who operate a push food cart as many hours of the day as possible just to barely survive. At the start, Jisun seems a bit frivolous in her determination to avoid being a part of her father’s world, where power and money reign. She becomes involved with an activi ...more
Powerful as all hell. Images of hundreds and thousands of women in Seoul protesting grim working conditions in factories that barely meet basic needs. Two women - one well off and outspokenly activist but unaware of some aspects of the privilege that her wealth allows her, the other fighting for good grades while her parents work night and day in a small market. One misled boy trying to earn status in a university social group. All ...more
Sunam--a charming man who becomes involved with two women
Jisun--spoiled daughter of a rich man
Namin--daughter of a poor family
Juno--mentor to Sunam
There are worker demonstrations/strikes, awkward/failed romances and an illegitimate child of an American soldier and a Korean woman. While I enjoyed reading this book, it drag ...more
Jisun comes from a wealthy family and desperately wants to break away from them. Namin's parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. The book opens in the middle of a violent demonstration and just meanders and meanders and meanders. I'm sure the book has its merits, but I couldn't get into it and abandoned at 50%.
The characters in this novel could have been a lot more developed. They were enjoyable but were also very one-dimensional, too. My favorite character was Namin. I wish that the background of the political climate in South Korea was less of a background and more of a main theme. There was one part where a political meeting was held in furious whispers that showed the frustration and the fear of the workers. It was so ...more
Jisun and Namin are friends. Jimsun grew up wealthy. Her father is a successful business man and they live in a beautiful home and she is driven by a chauffeur. Namin grew up with parents who owned a food cart that they worked all ...more
I went into this book knowing very little about South Korea's history and culture, so I had no preconceived ideas about the location or how the characters might be portrayed in the story. I think this made the book more interesting to me, because I wasn't just reading a story; I was learning about a...more
** I received an advanced readers copy from Random House in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**
This book centred around three college aged people living in South Korea in 1978. Jisun never wanted for anything and came from wealth but had no interest in it. She was wrapped up in the political underground. Her best friend Namin came from a family that worked hard but struggled for everything they had. Their ho ...more
I’ve reviewed books that have uncommon narrative styles before, but this is the first time I found myself lost in cultural differences, not just between my culture and theirs but within their culture and the different social strata. No, this is not a criticism. It was fascinating to catch myself having expectations because of the seemingly traditional narrative approach only to have them turned upside down.
Basically, Everything Belongs to Us is a small ...more