This book charts the life of Sunja, born into a hard-working, loving South Korean family, who decides to migrate to Japan in the hope of making a new life for herself and her husband. Isolated, far from home, and with no understanding of the language, Sunja struggles to adapt to her new environment. Teeming with life and colour, this is a wonderful family saga spanning four generations and peppered with the exotic flavours of the East. I couldn’t put it down!
Recommended by Anne Aitken, Dubray Stillorgan
Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife. Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja's salvation is just the beginning of her story. Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival.