There had been so much hype around PACHINKO, I had no desire to read it. That happens to me often. There will be a book that receives a lot of love and attention (think of current reads like DAISY JONES AND THE SIX) and instead of being drawn to the book, I’m a little repelled. But once things calm down, I often find myself circling back to the book that so many people have already read. That’s exactly what happened with PACHINKO.
I’ve been reading PACHINKO for the last several weeks. I woke up this morning with only 100 pages left and was bound and determined to finish it this weekend. I cozied up and vowed to ignore all other distractions until I was done.
“In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant–and that her lover is married–she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.” ~from Goodreads
This book was worth the hype and worth the wait. I don’t think I’ve read anything like it before. I read it slowly so I could absorb it, let it sink in so it would stay. So many books I quickly read and quickly forget, but PACHINKO isn’t that kind of book. This is the kind of book that fights its way in and makes a home deep inside your reading soul. This deep family saga and vast array of characters will be hard to forget and I finding hard to leave behind as I choose my next read. This book was a National Book Award Finalist for a reason!
Don’t let this big book scare you. Typically, I’m not a fan of bigger books (they ca take so long to finish!) but the plot and characters kept this one moving along. I was never bored, never felt like I wasn’t making progress. I was curious to see what was happening to the main characters. There are lots of smaller, secondary characters in this book, but they all added to its richness.
Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction and for those who want to tackle their first big book with success!
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Published by Grand Central Publishing, February 2017
Genre: Literary Fiction
Where I read: Cozied up with hot tea and a blanket
Stephenie’s Goodreads Rating: 5 out of 5 stars