The Calligrapher's Daughter: A Novel

The Calligrapher's Daughter - Eugenia Kim Another win. This was a great book, and I would recommend it to fans of Wild Swans by Jung Chang, Leaving Mother Lake by Yang Erche Namu & Christine Mathie, and even Memoirs of a geisha by Arthur Golden. I got the same feeling as I got from those books, and not just because those took place in China and Japan, and this one in Korea. No, it was because two of those were about real events, and in this one the author was inspired by her mother's story. There was reality and everyday life. And life in a time of turmoil.This was the story about Najin, a girl who is not named and gets her name by mistake, a name that doesn't even mean anything. She lives in Korea, a country occupied by Japan, and life gets harder and harder as the Japanese tries to oppress the people. She is headstrong, much to her fathers regret. And thanks to her mother she gets to attend missionary school, and she has a real yearning for education. But her father wants to hold on to the old ways, and tradition. While she wants more. I admired her a lot, because she was so strong and wanted so much. And then there is the way they spoke then, I was fascinated. She meets the emperor and thanks him for remembering a a screen her dad had painted."Thank you for your Imperial Highness's kindness to this persons worthless family." And that is not the only time she says something like that, but it is used in other places. So yes rather fascinated by the way they spoke back then.It is a story about a girl growing up, going to school, and everyday life. And watching the political unrest around her. Her dad getting beaten and put in jail, people dying after a failed protest march, a woman taking her own life after being raped by soldiers. Land being given away to Japanese families, and Korean families starving. At the same time she also spends time at court, and watches the fall of the royal family, as the emperor is murdered. Her dad who was a famous calligrapher, and who had a lot of money slowly poorer and poorer.But she never says that this is wrong, and this is right. The book tells it as she sees it, and also sometimes from her father's and mother's POV. There is also a mention about a certain rebel leader up north, but her dad is not so big on communists, even if they fight the Japanese.This was such an enjoyable story. 30 years of Korean history in a country that truly changed during that time. There is friendship, hardship, and even romance promised as the grows up as the Armstrong woman she was.A truthful look at a time gone by.Blodeuedd's Cover Corner: Very pretty.Reason for Reading. I picked this one out from the catalogue they had.Final thoughts: I recommend it. It was a lovely story, and so well told.