Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

If you’re looking for a beautifully written, emotionally powerful novel that transports you to a different time and place, look no further than Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko.

The plot of this epic multi-generational saga is both sweeping and intimate, taking readers on a journey through the lives of several generations of a Korean family living in Japan. The story begins in the early 20th century and continues through World War II and beyond, tracing the family’s struggles and triumphs as they navigate a complex and often hostile world.

What makes Pachinko truly remarkable, however, are the characters that Lee has created. Each member of the family is vividly drawn and fully realized, with their own hopes, dreams, and flaws. Whether it’s the fiercely independent Sunja, the stoic Isak, or the tragic Noa, every character in Pachinko feels like a real person, and their struggles and triumphs are all the more moving for it.

And then there’s the history that Lee weaves throughout the novel. Through the eyes of her characters, we see the discrimination and persecution that Koreans faced in Japan, as well as the horrors of World War II and the aftermath of the atomic bombings. But we also see the resilience and strength of the human spirit, as the characters in Pachinko forge ahead in the face of unimaginable hardship.

Overall, Pachinko is an unforgettable novel that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page. With its powerful storytelling, richly drawn characters, and compelling historical backdrop, it’s a true masterpiece that deserves all the praise it has received. I absolutely loved this one.

Pachinko is Book Two completed for my TBR Year 10 Challenge.

9 Comments on “Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

  1. Such a great book, as you say the characters are so vivid and richly drawn. I too also liked the historical setting, and the plight of the Korean Japanese people was a topic I knew nothing about. Have you watched the TV show of the same name? Definitely worth a look.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sign-Ups: The TBR Pile Challenge Turns Ten! #TBRYear10 – Roof Beam Reader

  3. I was also very impressed by this book. Two other aspects: it is unbearably sad! This doesn’t prevent me from enjoying or liking a book but it bears mention. Also, it is the kind of book that lends itself to discussion – the characters, the history, the legacy, the food – it is great to read a book with one’s book group and have it really lend itself to a real analysis. We read Annie Ernaux’s memoir this month and the conversation lasted 15 minutes.

    Liked by 1 person

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