Debbie's Reviews > Forgotten Country

Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung
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's review
Feb 06, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: lter, contemporary-fiction, review-copy, 2012, dead-tree
Read from February 06 to March 01, 2012

I found this book extremely well-written, but I never really connected with it except on a very superficial level. Janie, the narrator, was very sympathetic but not very empathetic. She was very... flat. Her emotions and motivations never shone through the story. Hannah, her sister, was this great mysterious void, but once she showed up in the plot again shrank into the background.

Throughout the book, I wanted more. More emotion, more background, more explanation, more exposition. For a first person narrative, I didn't find out too much about Janie as a person, especially since this is a coming of age story of sorts, despite Janie already being an adult. She had allowed herself to be subsumed by her parents' expectations for her, and in the story she slowly begins to exert her own own authority over her life. At the same time, Hannah had the opposite journey where she had completely renounced her parents and then started coming back to them.

This was a theme that I wish had been explored more, rather than the soap opera reasons for the two sisters to pull away from each other and from their parents (physically for one, and emotionally for the other). Instead, the story focused on Janie's relationship with her father in a meandering and not always satisfying fashion.

Review copy courtesy of the publisher via LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program
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04/08/2016 marked as: read

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