A new novel from Lisa See, the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, about female friendship and family secrets on a small Korean island.Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends that come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger.Despite their love for each other, Mi-ja and Young-sook’s differences are impossible to ignore. The Island of Sea Women is an epoch set over many decades, beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers. Throughout this time, the residents of Jeju find themselves caught between warring empires. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, and she will forever be marked by this association. Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers in their village. Little do the two friends know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. A classic Lisa See story—one of women’s friendships and the larger forces that shape them—The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives. [Goodreads Summary]
An old woman sits on the beach, a cushion strapped to her bottom, sorting algae that's washed ashore. She's used to spending time in the water, but even on land she's vigilant to the environment around her. Jeju is her home, an island known for Three Abundances: wind, stones and women. [opening of The Island of Sea Women]
My initial thoughts: The novel begins in a more contemporary time; the year is 2008. From these first sentences, I feel like I am already beginning to settle in for a good story. I immediately want to know more about Jeju and its women.
"I apologize for the misbehavior of the women in my household," Father said in his fumbling Japanese. "We always want to help--"The lieutenant sounded sympathetic, but there was no way to trust him. Father bit a thumbnail. I wished he didn't look so scared.The lieutenant motioned to one of his men. A bag was dropped on the ground. "Here is your compensation," he said, "From now on, try to do as we do. Keep your women home."That was an impossible request, but Father agreed to it. [excerpt from page 56]
A Loud Winter's Nap by Katy Hudson is a cute children's book. Sometimes I wouldn't mind sleeping through the winter, but the I would miss out on so much!
One book I really enjoyed with "winter" in the title is Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell. The author was capture so well the bleakness and poverty of the area, mixed in with its beauty.
Every Friday Coffee Addicted Writer from Coffee Addicted Writer poses a question which participants respond on their own blogs within the week (Friday through Thursday). They then share their links at the main site and visit other participants blogs.
What upcoming books are you intrigued to read in 2021? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)
So many! I participate in a weekly meme in which I feature upcoming releases I am anticipating--because there is always something coming out I want to read. I will share three with you today. I do not know when I will read them as they are only on my wish list, but one can dream, right?