Before the nightmares began, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary, controlled life. But the dreams-invasive images of blood and brutality-torture her, driving Yeong-hye to purge her mind and renounce eating meat altogether. It’s a small act of independence, but it interrupts her marriage and sets into motion an increasingly grotesque chain of events at home. As her husband, her brother-in-law and sister each fight to reassert their control, Yeong-hye obsessively defends the choice that’s become sacred to her. Soon their attempts turn desperate, subjecting first her mind, and then her body, to ever more intrusive and perverse violations, sending Yeong-hye spiraling into a dangerous, bizarre estrangement, not only from those closest to her, but from herself.
This is the first book I’m reading that’s out of my comfort zone. I’m normally reading a YA book or some sappy romance novel. I decided to switch it up a bit when I chose this book. This is also the first book I’ve ever read that takes place in a different country! I was so excited to learn about a new culture and see the struggles of a person who decides to make a great change to their life.
The beginning of the book was a little hard to get in to. I love books with a lot of dialogue and the first few pages have almost zero dialogue. Also, the lack of chapters is upsetting. As a mom, I like to read a quick chapter here and there and put the book down.
I could tell from the first page that I wasn’t going to be able to finish it. I stepped out of my comfort zone and it didn’t have a good result. Maybe when I’m older I’ll enjoy it. I think for now I’ll stick with what I know I like.
Han Kang was born in 1970 in South Korea. In 1993 she made her literary debut as a poet, and was first published as a novelist in 1994. A participant in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Han has won the Man Booker International Prize, the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today’s Young Artist Award, and the Manhae Prize for Literature. She currently works as a professor in the department of creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts.