Pachinko

Pachinko

Book - 2017
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A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires , for readers of A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone .

Profoundly moving and gracefully told, 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. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life.

So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja's family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Publishing, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781455563937
1455563935
9781455563920
Branch Call Number: LEE M
Characteristics: 490 pages ; 24 cm

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LPL_KimberlyL Nov 02, 2017

An eye-opening family saga about the treatment of Korean citizens in Japan, and what they must do to overcome extreme hardships and improve their lot in life. The characters in this novel will pull you in and keep you entranced to the final page. At just under 500 pages, this doesn't feel like a ... Read More »

"In early 1900s Korea, prized daughter Sunja finds herself pregnant and alone, bringing shame on her family until a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and move with her to Japan, in the saga of one family bound together as their faith and identity are called into question." -... Read More »

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samuelgina
Sep 22, 2018

Pachinko is an excellent read, it has such humility, honesty, and an unfiltered look at the non-romantic version of poverty and immigration. It touches on suicide, illness, and immense family and societal pressure especially in a home that is only made by family and not by nationality. Great read, but I especially recommend this for all children of immigrants, it has a lot of truth and lots of lessons to learn.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Sep 11, 2018

A saga, delivered in a less consistent narrative style, felt heavier than it's substantiated. Collage of ordinary characters with extraordinary characteristics float by in the river of history, their fate is watched over by God and as if played by Pachinko.
It's a shame that I only learned about my island kins in such a pronounced way until now.
I may not be more than impressed by the major female figures - the paragon of traditional values, but Noa is the core, and through him I feel author's near finesse.
"Sunja's tryst with Hansu" is beautifully rendered, while "Sex in the park", with its elaboration to appeal to contemporary readers (perhaps?), is such a smear to mess up the book.
Isak's short life has the most tear-jerking ending, other deaths (major and minor) are lightly touched without reduced tragic effect - a master stroke.

d
darladoodles
Aug 10, 2018

The story begins in the early 20th century in South Korea with a young man who is crippled by a club foot and has a cleft palate. He wins a wife and they are able to have one daughter (Sunjan). That daughter is his treasure and he teaches her about unconditional love. That love is passed on through the generations despite hardship and tragedy. The story ends in 1989, but we can see that the love and faith of Sunjan endures.

DCLadults Aug 09, 2018

Historical Fiction at it's best! Beautiful writing, fully developed characters and interesting places. A great book group selection! A National Book Award Finalist. A TV series is in development at Apple.

ArapahoeKati Aug 01, 2018

Lush, evocative, beautiful. The kind of book you want to savor. I spent a month reading this because I didn't want it to end. A read-alike for "Memoirs of a Geisha" or if you love family sagas with great attention to historical detail.

w
WoodneathSheri
Jul 25, 2018

I know very little about Korean history and I think that made this book an educational, as well as an entertaining read. Of course I’m aware that women have been treated very badly in most countries and throughout most time periods, but every time I read another historical fiction novel it really comes to life for me. This one is beautifully written and even though it’s a long book the story flowed quickly. It’s the story of a Korean family who is moved to Japan due to circumstances beyond their control. I think this is one of the references to the game of Pachinko, which is a game of luck, but we learn in the book that sometimes the owners of Pachinko parlors rig the game. The story immersed me in the characters so much that I felt like the family could have been real! I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more by this author.

somanybooksHPL Jul 05, 2018

A long book, that is a quick read as it is seamlessly written. A story that could be about almost any immigrant experience. Historical, current, love, drama, mystery all wrapped into one.

k
kwsmith
May 27, 2018

This sweeping character drama is set in Korea and Japan between 1910 and 1990. During this time, Japan had colonized Korea and the Koreans living in Japan were often treated as lower class humans. The suffering, perseverance, and ultimate success of stoic Korean women is a central theme in this book. Richly detailed characterization dramatically brings this fascinating chapter of East Asian history to life.

r
ryanosu
May 25, 2018

2017 National Book Award

lindab1111 May 03, 2018

It felt like I have read this book before. Different country, different names but the same basic story of families being forced to flee villages, women's plight of trying to find love with a man who has money, and so on. Perhaps I'm thinking of Lisa See or Amy Tan. Anyway, I stayed with it till the end.

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Tjad2L
Aug 23, 2017

Sexual Content: explicit sexual content

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