“‘Little auntie,could you bring out more of your bean sprout soup? It’s so good …

“‘Little auntie,could you bring out more of your bean sprout soup? It’s so good that I don’t think one pot will be enough.’”

Thank you alcovepress for this ARC. This book is available now! If you are a lover of historical fiction, you will want to check this book out and if you also love a sprinkling of magic/mysticism/folklore I think this would be a slam dunk. It’s a story set mostly on the island of Jeju in South Korea, famous for the matriarchal haenyeo, female divers. Jeju Island also has a lot of creation narratives, born from the shamanism of the island and also mentioned in this book. It has a dual timeline, present day and around the 1940s after the Japanese have left but are replaced with American soldiers who are trying to weed out the Communists. I was definitely not as drawn to the present day storyline but was sucked into the history of Jeju Island. Sadly, I felt the weight of foreign occupation while reading this book. And knowing the Korean War is just a few years after this is something that was in my head as well. Through the story of Junja, we find a story about sacrifice and survival. I went into this book thinking it was going to be more about the haenyeos but it was more about the history of Jeju during the 40s. The Island of Sea Women may come to mind and that is a book that I loved last year that does focus more on the haenyeo culture and the actual diving. I think it’s a great companion read to this book. What I loved about this book was the feelings and emotions that it conveyed so well – the sense of duty to family and the grit of a people who have been under occupation for three decades is something I felt very strongly through the beautiful words. I hope there is a translated version so I can share with my aunt 💜

9 thoughts on ““‘Little auntie,could you bring out more of your bean sprout soup? It’s so good …”

  1. YES! The sense of duty to family and grit.. it’s something I learned from my parents even while raising me here in the States. And it’s something I hope to pass down to my children. And that 콩나물국 looks SO good!!

  2. Ooh! I was worried that it would be too similar to Island of Sea Women, so it’s great to hear that they make great companions. Can’t wait to read this.

  3. Your pic made me so hungry. I am going to go eat rice and kimchee now. Lol! I can’t wait to read this book ❤️

  4. Can’t wait to read this one! I also loved The Island of Sea Women, so as soon as I saw that this was also set in Jeju, I was so interested! ❤️

  5. This sounds so good, I still have to read The Island of Sea Women but I picked that one up because the historical aspect of the book, I’ll add this to my list after I get done with that one!

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