Pachinko follows the story of Sunja and her family through four generations across Korea and Japan. It describes the experiences of Koreans during the Japanese occupation in Korea and the harsh discrimination they had to endure in Japan during that moment in history. Sunja and her family, as well as many Koreans, didn’t have much choice at that time but to struggle in order to survive.
There are so many characters in this book, some we encounter very briefly while some take part throughout the entire story. Even with a large cast of characters, Min Jin Lee was able to let us glimpse into each one of them and how they lead their lives. What I found most interesting was how she managed to put the characters in similar situations and how the characters chose to deal with it.
It’s a lengthy read but don’t let that stop you from reading for the book was greatly-paced, you wouldn’t want to put it down.
Min Jin Lee’s writing style is simple but elegant. The characters seem to speak in a such a way that it penetrates through the heart and touched me and made every part of the story realistic. Somehow, I did not want the book to end. I love that I’ve learned more about some part of history I have been keen of knowing more since I was in high school. And the fact that I have been working for a Korean company for quite some time now makes the read more interesting. In a way, I sort of feel like I understand more about them now.
This was a very entertaining and wonderful read and it could even be a great TV drama.
Highly recommended to everyone.
“Living everyday in the presence of those who refuse to acknowledge your humanity takes great courage.”
“Learn everything. Fill your mind with knowledge—it’s the only kind of power no one can take away from you.”
“Yes, of course. If you love anyone, you cannot help but share his suffering. If we love our Lord, not just admire him or fear him or want things from him, we must recognize his feelings; he must be in anguish over our sins. We must understand this anguish. The Lord suffers with us. He suffers like us. It is a consolation to know this. To know that we are not in fact alone in our suffering.”
“You want to see a very bad man? Make an ordinary man successful beyond his imagination. Let’s see how good he is when he can do whatever he wants.”
“No one is clean. Living makes you dirty.”
Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟