Sunday, August 23, 2009
49. THE CALLIGRAPHER'S DAUGHTER - Eugenia Kim
Writing this review makes me heartsick because it is not often that I read a novel where I can see how it could have been a masterpiece. Perhaps I've been dipping into my Ciroq stores a bit more, or perhaps this book was marketed to the wrong audience. Either way, this coulda-shoulda been an amazing novel about Korean history that turned, instead, into a novel about Christ and the love of Jesus.
Stop. Right. There.
First, we have a novel/book and it is the Bible. There are also several other novels about God, Christianity, and the Ten Commandments. There is an entire romance line for Christian women. I have read the Bible, the Koran, and other religious texts, including numerous novels that attempt to recreate moments from Biblical history. I am not going to suffer through a ton of hate-posts. Period.
But, if a book is marketed and released as a historical novel spanning the time when Japan occupied Korea in a series of battles and spars, then I would like to read about it. A portion of the book shows the young heroine, Najin (based on the author's mother) in the palace with one of the princesses before the last emperor of Korea is murdered. That is historical fiction.
However, there are few pages without a link to Christianity. While I understand that Korea was one of the few Eastern countries open to the idea of a new religion, during this time it was still considered new and strange, and households often used a mixture of Christianity and Confucian proverbs, casting "devils" out using both religions. If this had been relayed more true to history, the religious aspect would not have been an issue for me.
With advanced reviews, I seem to be in the minority, but after page 286, I winced while reading. She coulda been a contendah. Amen.
1.0 out of 5.0 Godfathers.