June Han was only a girl when the Korean War left her orphaned; Hector Brennan was a young GI who fled the petty tragedies of his small town to serve his country. When the war ended, their lives collided at a Korean orphanage where they vied for the attentions of Sylvie Tanner, the beautiful yet deeply damaged missionary wife whose elusive love seemed to transform everything. Thirty years later and on the other side of the world, June and Hector are reunited in a plot that will force them to come to terms with the mysterious secrets of their past, and the shocking acts of love and violence that bind them together.
As Lee unfurls the stunning story of June, Hector, and Sylvie, he weaves a profound meditation on the nature of heroism and sacrifice, the power of love, and the possibilities for mercy, salvation, and surrendering oneself to another. Combining the complex themes of identity and belonging of Native Speaker and A Gesture Life with the broad range, energy, and pure storytelling gifts of Aloft, Chang-rae Lee has delivered his most ambitious, exciting, and unforgettable work yet. It is a mesmerizing novel, elegantly suspenseful and deeply affecting.
I loved this book, and I received it from LibraryThing, so thanks to them and the publishers! Sorry for having this about 1 1/2 years late! Oops. But I didn't have a blog back then, so I personal think this is the better arrangement. Yep.
This book was rich with detail, complex, a sea of characters who weren't as able to connect to people in a healthy way, they pushed people around, and away, and they ruined lives.
They didn't always mean to, but that was the way that they were. They'd all had some sort of traumatic experience, whether first hand (June) or second hand (Hector) but these events, they didn't always have a easy-to-see effect, but was something akin to waves wearing down rock, bit by bit, piece by piece, layer by layer, until it all was too much and the people around them went.
These were good characters, ones who weren't the norm, ones who weren't always likeable, or understandable, but they were written in such a way that they were understandable at the bare minimum.
I enjoyed this book, though there were parts that I was confused, or there was a bit too much detail, but all in all, this was a great book, and I recommend that you guys try it out!
Author: Change-Rae Lee
Read: June 13th-15th, 2011
Source: I received a copy for review
Reason Why: Sounded really great!
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Published: March 9th 2010