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Long for This World    by Sonya Chung order for
Long for This World
by Sonya Chung
Order:  USA  Can
Scribner, 2010 (2010)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Long for This World opens in 1953. On a ferry from a small Korean island to the mainland, a man and his new wife discover that his younger brother has stowed away, wanting to accompany them to America to start a new life.

Fifty-two years later, that younger brother, Han Hyun-kyu, returns to Korea, leaving his wife behind. He is searching for something but he knows not what.

His daughter Jane is a war photographer, injured in the fighting in Baghdad. While recovering, Jane follows her father to South Korea. Together they seem to be seeking peace within themselves. Staying with Han's family, they rediscover their heritage and its cultural background.

I had one problem with this book, which is probably my own problem and no one else's. I couldn't keep the characters' names straight and so was never quite sure who was speaking or interacting.

While author Sonya Chung has been recognized for her short fiction and essays, Long for This World is her first novel. Complex, many layered, and sensitive writing makes reading this small novel a delight. And delving into the characters' family relationships will make readers examine their own.

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