The Calligrapher's Daughter

by Eugenia Kim

Rating: 4 (1 vote)

Tags: Set in South Korea Female author

The Calligrapher's Daughter

'A beautiful, deliberate and satisfying story spanning thirty years of Korean history' Publishers' Weekly 'Kim weaves a wonderfully nuanced historical portrait, rich in detail and resonant with meaning and wisdom' Independent In Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother - but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country. When he seeks to marry fourteen-year-old Najin into an aristocratic family, her mother defies generations of obedient wives and instead sends her daughter to serve in the king's court as a companion to a young princess. But the king is soon assassinated, and the centuries-old dynastic culture comes to its end. In the shadow of the dying monarchy, Najin begins a journey through increasing oppression that will change her world forever. As she desperately seeks to continue her education, will the unexpected love she finds along the way be enough to sustain her through the violence and subjugation her country continues to face? Spanning thirty years, The Calligapher's Daughter is an exquisite novel about a country torn between ancient customs and modern possibilities, a family ultimately united by love and a woman who never gives up her search for freedom.


Read Around The World Challenge user profile avatar for Kristina
(1 year ago)
18 May, 2023
A fascinating look inside one family's experience in early-twentieth-century Korea. The story was inspired by the life of the author’s mother. As a reader, I am not just learning about Korea that existed prior to the Korean War. Learning about the global impact of the Japanese occupation has helped me gain a broader perspective on the time period.

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