Top critical review
Fact or fiction? This book is both.
Reviewed in India on 1 September 2020
This book delves into the issues of women being the fairer aka weaker sex through the story of a South Korean woman from the 1980s to now. Right from women being leered at, groped, teased and made to feel it's her fault to begin with to being forced to make sacrifices in all aspects of life to raise a family, from society demanding when a couple should have a baby to the importance of that child being a boy, this book has it all. What America and Europe dealt with for women's rights and equality in the 1950s is what South Korea and all Asian countries are dealing with now and this book divulges all of that. It resonates with every woman who has ever faced any kind of injustice solely on the basis of her gender and it leaves you feeling angry and sad that we're still fighting for equality and basic rights even in today's "progressive" times.
That being said, this book could have been so much more. Maybe it's the translation that makes it lose its impact but the language and the sentence structure don't create a vivid enough picture and leave the reader wanting for more. It starts out very promising with Jiyoung's mental breakdown but that's where it stopped. Her character development was weak and it didn't make me root for her at all. I, for one, had some trouble getting through the book because it read more like a report with statistics than a fictional story. Towards the end, while I was enraged by the ongoing injustices and inequality towards women, I just wanted this book, nay white paper, nope college sociology essay, to be over. Read it if you want a quick read and a deep insight into what women face in South Korea and lots of developing third world countries.