Book Review: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

 Hello all you beautiful people in the world! I've actually finished this book in June, but hadn't had the actual time to sit down do a whole review on this due to other book review commitments, but I'm really excited to tell you all about this book! It's one that I don't have any negative things to say about it, so read on if you are curious to learn more about the novel, Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.

A Little Bit About The Author

She was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to Queens, New York with her family in 1976 when she was seven years old. Lee is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science and was inducted into the Bronx Science Hall of Fame. At Yale College, she majored in History and was awarded the Henry Wright Prize for Nonfiction and the James Ashmun Veech Prize for Fiction. She attended law school at Georgetown University and worked as a lawyer for several years in New York prior to writing full time.

From 2007 to 2011, Lee lived in Tokyo where she researched and wrote Pachinko. As of the fall of 2018, she will be based in Boston, where she will be working on American Hagwon, the third diaspora novel of “The Koreans” trilogy. From 2019-2022, she will be a Writer-in-Residence at Amherst College. She serves as a trustee of PEN America and as a director of the Authors Guild.

A Little About The Book

The story starts off in the early 1900's, before WWII came into play. We find the life of teenager Sunja go from typical to a Lifetime movie in a matter of a couple of chapters. She soon finds out that she is pregnant from a wealthy stranger who she finds out has a different life in Japan. She leaves the stranger and decides to marry a gentle minister who was passing through her mother's inn on his way to Japan. Her decisions lead her on one epic journey that only one could believe in writing.

What Was Most Interesting

If you are a history buff then you are going to LOVE Pachinko. A story set in post and pre WWII Japan. I learned so many things that I never learned in school and haven't watched on the History channel. The story goes into great detail about the Koreans who moved into Japan, how they were treated and how the ones that were born in Japan grew up and what life was like in a place that I consider to be quite friendly. It kind of pops my bubble a bit, but always good to know.

This story also reminded me of Memoirs of a Geisha in the way the story was told, you just want to keep learning more about everyone's life during this time. It's so mesmerizing, especially for people, like me, who don't know much about this part of history.

This story is definitely a page-turner. I could not put it down. I wanted to read the whole thing in a day, but let myself read it slow to take it all in. When you have a good page-turner book, you are going to have feelings. Tons of feelings. You will feel the main character's happiness, sadness, devastation, love and everything else in between. It's a true roller coaster that you just quite don't want to get off from.

 What Was Least Interesting

There is really nothing that I would personally put here. The author went through great lengths to make sure her story was accurately portrayed and accurate to the time and she did a fantastic job.


Overall,  I definitely recommend this to anyone. It's a wonderfully, tragic story that reels you into the human heart and tugs at it's vessels. Until next time, Happy Reading my friends!


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