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All Woman and Springtime by Brandon W. Jones
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All Woman and Springtime

by Brandon W. Jones

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16535108,411 (3.91)4
  1. 00
    Purge by Sofi Oksanen (tangledthread)
    tangledthread: Purge also deals with the topic of human trafficking in the aftermath of the break-up of the Soviet Union
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» See also 4 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Oh, this book is so sad! I was sobbing by the end. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
Really 3.5 stars, but I felt like rounding up. This book caught my eye because of my obsession with North Korea. And I think the author does a great job with the setting, and with its effect on Gyong-Ho in particular. (One sometimes gets the feeling that Jones was so interested in Gyong-Ho he forgot to develop his other characters, especially Cho.) But the dark plot tends toward melodrama at times, and the quasi-happy ending feels unearned. ( )
  GaylaBassham | May 27, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This novel about two North Korean orphans sold into a sex slave ring should have been heartbreaking but somehow missed the mark. This was one of those stories that you rationally know is a probable and most horrible real life possibility happening somewhere. The sequence of girls’ time in South Korea and then on to the states, as well as the demise of one and the later freedom and success of the other was realistic and believable. Yet, perhaps because this heavy topic was almost written on a Y/A level, I lost (or never found) the emotional attachment that usually accompanies other such novels. I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. It has taken quite a while to come up with something fair. Based on the topic, I expected to have a much stronger reaction. This was a good story, but without drawing a lump in my throat or a tear in my eye I can’t say it was a great one. ( )
  SherryEK | Jun 7, 2017 |
Really 3.5 stars, but I felt like rounding up. This book caught my eye because of my obsession with North Korea. And I think the author does a great job with the setting, and with its effect on Gyong-Ho in particular. (One sometimes gets the feeling that Jones was so interested in Gyong-Ho he forgot to develop his other characters, especially Cho.) But the dark plot tends toward melodrama at times, and the quasi-happy ending feels unearned. ( )
  gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
From North Korea, South Korea, and finally to Seattle, Washington, a disturbing book. Life wasn't easy for Il-sun and Gi in a North Korea orphanage. Il-sun had come from a privileged lifestyle until her mother died and left her an orphan at which time all her hopes of marrying well and maintaining that lifestyle dry up. Gi's been left an orphan after her family has been arrested for not paying proper respect to the Great Leader and Dear Leader's portraits. Grandmother, parents, and herself wound up brutalized in a slave labor camp where they died. Il-sun, even in the orphanage, is still attempting to climb the social ladder from which she fell and she feels that a relationship with Gianni is a start. Little does she realize that Gianni's business also includes human trafficking. Gi winds up with Il-sun because the Foreman Hwang of the garment factory needs her to disappear. When they try and escape their drug addicted "owner" he sells them to a Korean Mafia run brothel where they're kept ignorant of where they even are. ( )
  lisa.schureman | May 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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Before she met Il-sun in an orphanage, Gi was a hollow husk of a girl, broken from growing up in one of North Korea’s forced-labor camps. A mathematical genius, she has learned to cope with pain by retreating into a realm of numbers and calculations, an escape from both the past and present. Gi becomes enamored of the brash and radiant Il-sun, a friend she describes as “all woman and springtime.” But Il-sun’s pursuit of a better life imperils both girls when her suitor spirits them across the Demilitarized Zone and sells them as sex workers, first in South Korea and then in the United States.

This spellbinding debut, reminiscent of Memoirs of a Geisha, depicts—with chilling accuracy—life behind North Korea’s iron curtain. But for Gi and Il-sun, forced into the underworld of human trafficking, their captivity outside North Korea is far crueler than the tight control of their “Dear Leader.” Tenderhearted Gi, just on the verge of womanhood, is consigned to a fate that threatens not only her body but her mind. How she and Il-sun endure, how they find a path to healing, is what drives this absorbing and exquisite novel—from an exciting young Algonquin discovery—to its perfectly imagined conclusion.
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Introverted Gi and radiant Il-sun are sold as sex workers by Il-sun's suitor, first in South Korea and then in the U.S. Though their captivity outside North Korea is even crueler than the oppression, they endure on their path to freedom.

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