Min Jin Lee | Fiction 2017
Pachinko follows one Korean family through two World Wars, and their life in Japan as it evolves, away from their beloved homeland. It is not a story of a particularly tragic family, or a wealthy or powerful family. It is just a family. A poor family who lost their home in Korea during WW2 and made a life for themselves. You will follow this family through four generations and 80 years, and they will touch your heart, as well as teach you something about our world history. They endure catastrophe, tragedy, poverty, discrimination, and they manifest wisdom, joy, passion, laughter, and a powerful sense of self.
The word is difficult to find … but we will settle on “saga.” Pachinko is a 500-page tale of this small family and is an eminently readable saga. You will come to love the characters and cheer for their triumphs. I quite like this quote by award-winning author Darin Strauss, “Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is a great book, a passionate story, a novel of magisterial sweep.”
I do recommend this book. It is simply a good story. Yes, it is long; I read it over the first half of the Christmas break. A nice time to read such a tale, while it is cold outside.