by Min Jin Lee
Grand Central Publishing, 2017
paperback, 500 pages
narrated by Allison Hiroto
Hachette Audio, 2017
18 hours and 16 minutes
Motivation for reading: I love a good family saga and knew I'd read this eventually. My daughter gave me the final push to do it NOW.
Source: purchased paperback/audible credit for audio
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 all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan.
So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
History has failed us, but no matter.My thoughts:
Steeped in time and place, characters so real and deep, rich in history... there is much to love in this multi-generational family saga and I relished every single page.
Pachinko was a read/listen combination for me. It almost felt like I was living in this novel. I read in every free moment and listened while I walked, cleaned, cooked, gardened, drove...
Allison Hiroto was a new-to-me narrator and I thought her performance was excellent.
Pachinko will certainly be a favorite for 2018. It may even end up on my list of all-time favorites, too. Don't miss this gem!