Customer Reviews for

This Burns My Heart

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    I loved this book!

    Soo-Ja comes from a wealthy and traditional family in post-war South Korea and has her heart set on becoming a diplomat. She applies and is accepted by the school, but her father tells her that no self respecting family would ever consent to allow a daughter to move to Seoul and disgrace her family, thus crushing her dreams. She is now 22 and finishing school and is soon named an old maid when a suitor, Min, follows her and quickly proposes. She also meets another man, Yul, a medical student, to whom she is instantly attracted but feels he cannot move her to Seoul and follow her diplomatic dreams. She marries Min on the pretext that he is from a wealthy family and can take to Seoul where she can control him and follow her dreams. Things unravel on Soo-Ja's wedding night when Min confesses that he lied to her in order to get her to marry him. There is no money, he is a loser and she is destined to live a traditional life while her heart breaks. Soo-Ja shows incredible strength which only seems to grow as she is abused by her in laws, where they trick her family out of money, force her to do back breaking work and almost break her spirit.

    She suddenly wakes up when she runs into Yul and his wife at her hotel business and a small spark is rekindled between the two of them. I was cheering for Soo-Ja through much of the story and I felt so emotionally connected to her that I was sad when the story ended. Of course, I disliked Min, but overall, the tradition that controlled these characters made me understand his actions a bit better and made him a bit more sympathetic. The relationship between Yul and Soo-Ja also made you root for them to reconnect. Yul's wife Eun-Mee quickly becomes a match for Min in the low integrity department when she stays one step ahead of Soo-Ja and ruins Soo-Ja chances for financial prosperity by borrowing money from a friend that Soo-Ja had planned on asking. You need to read the story to find out how it ends.

    This story of reconnection and true love is a wonderful debut and I would love to read more from this author.
    It reminded me of when I first read Lisa See's work and how she combined history with incredibly believable characters and a storyline that was truly plausible.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2011

    Beautiful Writing

    This novel is a wonderful read. While the author stayed true to the values and behaviors expected of a young Korean woman in the time in which the novel is set, the emotions are timeless. The reader cannot help but cheer for Soo-Ja throughout the novel even as youth and immaturity cause her to make an obvious misstep with her life.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Beautiful, Touching, Fantastic Book

    This Burns My Heart is the story of Soo-Ja, a woman in post-war Korea who is having to forgo the life she desires to fit in with the customs and culture of her country. After a hasty marriage, Soo-Ja is soon trapped in a life of virtual servitude to her in-laws. As her life turns out vastly different to what she had imagined when younger, she continues to run into a man who she had quickly fallen in love with right before she got married. In Yul, she sees a life that could have been, full of love and comfort. Soo-Ja must decide whether to pine after that which she wishes she had or make the best of what she does have.

    I absolutely loved this book! There was such beauty and grace to Soo-Ja. Never did she wallow in misery, even while wondering how her life would have been different if she had married someone else. She understood that her life was made by her choices. Soo-Ja had wonderful perspective on everything. I also really enjoyed the aspects of Soo-Ja's wants versus tradition. In a culture steeped in tradition, Soo-Ja knew there were certain expectations made of her. Although they did not make her life easy, she did the best she could to satisfy those traditions and make her own life as she saw fit. She was a beautiful example of adapting and making the best of all situations.

    The writing was outstanding. Everything flows so well, and you get a real sense of who all the characters are. I was so moved by this book. This is the kind of book that makes you feel so many things, but in the end I was incredibly uplifted. I am recommending this book as highly as I possibly can. It has been my favorite book so far this year, and I am sure it will be on many "best of" lists to come.

    Galley provided by publisher for review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2011

    Amazing

    It was great reading such an amazing book. Pls read it made my sod.br happy. Great job samauel park. I could not stop reading. I love it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 25, 2012

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    Posted September 15, 2011

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    Posted May 22, 2012

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    Posted January 29, 2012

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    Posted August 14, 2011

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