Friday, May 7, 2010

The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim

This wonderfully written novel on this year’s Texas Library Association Lariat list was an enjoyable read. The story follows Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher in early 20th century Korea. She is smart and headstrong at an early age and encouraged by her loving mother in a time where women had little rights. Her father was set in traditional ways and seemed very harsh at times. When Najin finds herself in an arranged married her mother sends her to Soul as a companion to a young princess. When the king is assassinated the centuries-old culture comes to an end. As she continues her education she unexpectedly finds love. She is immediately separated from her husband when he moves to American and her passport is denied. A decade passes and the distance between them takes a toll on their marriage. The story spans 30 years of Najin’s life and tells the tale of how oppression changed her forever.

Book cover from Follett

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