📖 “History has failed us, but no matter.” This is how Pachinko starts. This quote may not sound like a lot in the beginning, but it gets the whole new meaning by the end. Events described in the book, on various degrees, happened in so many nations, continents or entire races. Min Jin Lee tells a fantastic story about sacrifice, honour, discrimination and life. The author also suggests that we, as population, are not bound to learn from our mistakes.
🥢Pachinko tells the story of a Korean family through multiple generations, spanning nearly a hundred years and various locations. The novel begins against the backdrop of the Japanese annexation of Korea in 1910. As the story progresses, it explores the unique discrimination faced by Koreans living in Japan in the twentieth century.
🥢It was fascinating to read historical fiction taking place during World War II that wasn’t from an American or European perspective. It was called a “world war” for a reason, and through reading Pachinko we realized there were holes in our knowledge when it came to war as experienced by Korean and Japanese people. We were mostly ignorant of the fallout of the division of Korea and the way it left many Koreans living in Japan stranded, without a homeland. Facing daily abuse, mockery and even violence.
🥢We discussed a fascinating question – would you describe the nation as “an imagined political community.” While this is a profound and highly philosophical theme – book gave us enough inspiration and perspective to talk about and in the end answer: yes.
🥢Pachinko is one of the best books we read this year, if not ever: Mesmerizing and eye-opening tale. Could not recommend more.
5 kimchi out of 5 from both of us
📖 REVIEW BY🧔&👩🏻🦰 📖