Follow Here To Purchase This Burns My Heart: A Novel

Author: Samuel Parks

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

ISBN: 9781439199619 

Soo-Ja Choi is a beautiful and intelligent young woman in postwar South Korea. Her ambition is to become a diplomat, but there is no way that her parents will agree to this. She decides to marry Min, a weak, timid man believing that she can convince him to let her do what she wants. But once they get married, she realizes that she is the one who has been fooled. Min insists that they live with his parents and Soo-Ja’s life is all about taking care of them and being treated like an unwanted servant. What makes this even more heartbreaking for her is that just before marrying Min, she met a young medical student, Yul whom she was attracted to. She turned down his proposal to continue with her plans, but regrets this the minute she finds out what her situation is really going to be.

Soo-Ja must pay the price for making the wrong choice, but can she better her life and provide for her daughter?

Soo-Ja is a character who makes an impact. Min has lied to her and her reality is completely at odds with what she hoped to make of her life. Her father-in-law loses all his money in the business, borrows from Soo-Ja’s father and flees to America leaving Min, Soo-Ja and their daughter behind. Soo-Ja finds a way to make money for her family while Min does nothing to help. Through all this Soo-Ja can’t help but think “what if”. She finds herself wondering about how her life would have been if she had accepted Yul’s proposal.

But the story is not all about regrets and tears. We see Soo-Ja’s strength and determination right from the beginning and bad luck and a loveless marriage doesn’t stop her. She finds ways to survive and all her energies are devoted to making sure that her daughter Hana has all the opportunities that she didn’t.

Parks’ beautiful prose is what really made this book a delight for me to read. The story jumps forward months and years at a time, but the pacing was just right and the prose so enjoyable.

Highly recommended for all fans of literary fiction and character driven stories. This was one of my favorite reads of the year.

About the Author

Originally born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Korean-American author Samuel Park graduated from Stanford University and USC, where he earned his doctorate in English. He is the author of THIS BURNS MY HEART, which was chosen as an Amazon Best Book of the Month, a People magazine "Great Reads in Fiction," and one of the Today Show's "Favorite Things." THIS BURNS MY HEART was also a Kirkus Reviews' Editor's Pick, and an Indie Next List Notable Book. Samuel's other work includes the novella "Shakespeare's Sonnets" and the short film of the same name, which he wrote and directed. He lives in Chicago, where he is an Assistant Professor of English at Columbia College.

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Follow Here To Purchase This Burns My Heart: A Novel