"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Review and quotes: THE ISLAND OF SEA WOMEN


Title: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

Book Beginnings quote:

Friday56 quote:

Summary: Set on the Korean island of Jeju, The Island of Sea Women follows Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls as they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective. Over many decades—through the Japanese colonialism of the 1930s and 1940s, World War II, the Korean War, and the era of cellphones and wet suits for the women divers—Mi-ja and Young-sook develop the closest of bonds. Mi-ja is the daughter of a Japanese collaborator, forever marking her, and Young-sook was born into a long line of haenyeo and will inherit her mother’s position leading the divers. When the threat of communism comes to their island, their friendship is tested and torn apart.

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a unique and unforgettable culture, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children. The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives. Based on actual history and present-day events.

Review: Sometimes we have the good fortune of hitting a home-run when it comes to picking our next book club selection. The Island of Sea Women is one such fantastic choice. It is based on actual historical facts. There is an island off the coast of South Korea where women divers have historically made their livings from the sea. Jeju Island is now a UNESCO Heritage site for is beauty and unique cultural features where the haenyeo play an important role. 

Young-sook is the main protagonist and we follow her story from the 1930s through the late 2010s. During that time she loses her mother to a diving accident, essentially loses her diving partner to another water-related event. Later after the death of other family members she survives by her strength of character and with the help of the goddesses who protect the haenyeo and their families. When war comes to her island and later when the red-scare permeates politics, she has to dig down deep to find the reserves of her strength to survive and eventually to thrive.

The Island of Sea Women has it all -- a compelling and well-told story based on facts;  well developed and sympathetic characters; and a unique and beautiful setting. I look forward to discussing it with my club. I found the book to be a fascinating read, often heart-breaking, but so interesting at the same time.

Book Beginnings on Friday is hosted by Rose City ReaderShare the opening quote from current book.
e Friday56 is hosted at Freda's VoiceFind a quote from page 56 to share. 

Visit these two websites to participate. Click on links to read quotes from books other people are reading. It is a great way to make blog friends and to get suggestions for new reading material.  

 RHS Gals Book Club: June 2022


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