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Group Read Discussions > May 2018--Pachinko *NO SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Jasmine, Gatekeeper of Giveaways. (last edited May 01, 2018 06:00AM) (new) - added it

Jasmine | 1223 comments Mod
The book picked by our group to read for May 2018 was Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. This is the NO SPOILER thread. Happy Reading!

Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.

So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

Connie (connier) | 52 comments I am about half way through this book and am enjoying it so far. It is very interesting to me as this happened when I was a small girl. I really don't remember any of this so very eye-opening.

Annette (annetteshistoricalfiction) | 155 comments Loved this deeply moving and insightful story. It brings “a long and troubled history of legal and social discrimination against the Koreans in Japan.”

The story starts before WWII and depicts the struggle of Koreans for their freedom from occupying Japan. And after the war, it portrays Koreans living in Japan and their limits imposed by the foreign land, and their struggles for better lives and hope for better treatment.


message 4: by Dee (new) - added it

Dee Garretson (first time posting in this group) I'm also about halfway through. The history details are fascinating. I've been having trouble finishing books lately, but this is one I will definitely finish.

Charlie German (charliegerman) | 2 comments I'm really enjoying the ride inside Sunja's head, particularly the way the author depicts her emotional discomfort. Sunja's responses to uncomfortable situations feel so genuine that it makes me ache and worry all the more for her. It's very subtle, in my opinion, and all the more effective for it -- we see her thinking about this, and then about that, and we can feel her getting close to something that she either doesn't understand or is afraid to consider, and the next thing you know, BANG!, she's off thinking about something altogether different, (but still totally relevant to her life). This deft treatment of emotion has set the hook deep in me. It's hard to put the book down.

Connie (connier) | 52 comments I finished it last night and really enjoyed the whole thing. I probably would have read it faster had I not been moving from one house to another. My only reading time was at my store in between customers and some times I had a lot of time and others not so much.
This is not a book I would have picked up on my own. The cover wasn't very appealing to me, but the story inside more than made up for the cover.
I had no idea about this part of history, because I was a child in the 50's and 60's. I did learn a lot about the pain and suffering that the Koreans went through and how they were second class citizens.

message 7: by Janice (JG) (new) - added it

Janice (JG) | 69 comments I'm just a few pages from the end, I have really enjoyed this book.

When I lived in Hawaii, a friend of mine had a Pachinko machine which he would pull out whenever we had a party. It was definitely addicting, and very fun.

1970s Pachinko machine -

message 8: by Kim (new) - added it

Kim Kaso | 17 comments I really enjoyed her Free Food for Millionaires, I particularly liked the details she enfolded, such as the rituals of Princeton, reading Middlemarch over and over, while awaiting the bus in NYC, the love of vintage hats and the creation of new ones, the life the mother led in her congregation. It was a very rarified atmosphere, the lives of the wealthy, but she made her characters very accessible and made me care about them all, and she gave us enough everyday life mixed in with the other lives to make a stark contrast. I am hoping for a similarly great experience. I first heard about her while listening to an interview on West Coast Live and am so glad I did.

message 9: by Janice (JG) (new) - added it

Janice (JG) | 69 comments Kim wrote: "I really enjoyed her Free Food for Millionaires, I particularly liked the details she enfolded, such as the rituals of Princeton, reading Middlemarch over and over, while awaiting the bus in NYC, t..."

I had not heard of Free Food for Millionaires, but now I have ordered a copy from eBay. The London Times review said it had the qualities of a Great American Novel. That was enough for me. Thanks!

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) I am currently reading Pachinko for my face to face book group and am really enjoying it. I haven't been reading too many books about different cultures recently and now realize how much I miss them.

Patricia | 78 comments I'm reading Pachinko on my Kindle. I tend to read on my Kindle more when I'm traveling or waiting for someone/something, so I read in spurts, but I'm enjoying it so far.

Owlene | 4 comments I only got my hands on the book today (been waiting for a library copy), but having read the first chapter, I've got a feeling I'll like this one.

Jackballoon (platogleon) | 5482 comments This was a wonderful book with so much history.

Renee (elenarenee) | 476 comments I agree I learned a lot from this book. I preferred the beginning to the end stories.

Jackballoon wrote: "This was a wonderful book with so much history."

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