Jul 7, 2012

This Burns My Heart

This Burns My Heart: A Novel by Samuel Park

I received this book through Goodreads First Reads.

Book Description: On the eve of her marriage, beautiful and strong-willed Soo-Ja Choi receives a passionate proposal from a young medical student. But caught up in her desire to pursue a career in Seoul, she turns him away, having impetuously chosen another man who she believes will let her fulfill her dreams. Instead, she finds herself tightly bound by tradition and trapped in a suffocating marriage, her ambition reduced to carving out a successful future for her only daughter. Through it all, she longs for the man she truly loves, whose path she seems destined to cross again and again. In This Burns My Heart, Samuel Parks has crafted a transcendent love story that vibrantly captures 1960s South Korea and brings to life an unforgettable heroine.

This is not a book I would have picked up on my own. Nothing about it is the type of book I'm drawn to. Everything about it has a soft quality to it - from the cover to the writing style. There's not anything wrong with that, it's just not really my thing.

That being said, I enjoyed the story. I liked the culture and the history of it. Soo-ja is likeable enough. I wouldn't exactly call her as a heroine, though, as the book description does. She's tragically naive at the beginning, and it more or less ruins her life. You feel bad for her, but at the same time it was her own decisions that got her into the mess she was in. Actually, it was a pretty depressing story for most of the book, things went from bad to worse, got a little better (sort of, I guess) and then got worse again. Glimmers of hope shattered at every turn. And still, I liked it. It was a charming book that was not difficult to read, understand or follow.

On a scale from On a scale from Totally Awesome to Horrifically Awful, I'd give it a pretty good. I know a lot of people who would really, truly enjoy this book, love it even. I'm just not one of them. But I did enjoy it and would recommend reading it if it came your way, but I wouldn't bother seeking it out.


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