Somebody's Daughter: A Novelby Marie Myung-Ok Lee
A "heartwarming and heartbreaking"* story of a Korean American girl's search for her rootsSomebody's Daughter is the story of nineteen-year-old Sarah Thorson, who was adopted as a baby by a Lutheran couple in the Midwest. After dropping out of college, she decides to study in Korea and becomes more and more intrigued by her Korean heritage, eventually embarking on… See more details below
A "heartwarming and heartbreaking"* story of a Korean American girl's search for her rootsSomebody's Daughter is the story of nineteen-year-old Sarah Thorson, who was adopted as a baby by a Lutheran couple in the Midwest. After dropping out of college, she decides to study in Korea and becomes more and more intrigued by her Korean heritage, eventually embarking on a crusade to find her birth mother. Paralleling Sarah's story is that of Kyung-sook, who was forced by difficult circumstances to let her baby be swept away from her immediately after birth, but who has always longed for her lost child.
"Somebody's Daughter is a gift for those forgotten, for the thousands of Korean children adopted by white parents, for those who search and yearn for a sense of home and self."Nora Okja Keller, author of Comfort Woman and Fox Girl
"If you're looking for a book that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking, then this is for you. Sarah's search for her mother and Kyung-sook's search for her daughter are guaranteed tearjerkers."Taylor Amato, Elle Girl*
"Lee manages to be both comic and frank in this story of one girl's journey back to Korea and her lost mother's own journey toward redemption." Ann Hood, author of The Ornithologist's Guide to Life
"Sarah's wry honesty is just one of the pleasures of this wonderfully observed novel . . . Somebody's Daughter is a treat."-Ellen Shapiro, People
"Sumptuous and emotionally stunning . . . Once you begin this novel, you won't be able to put it down, infused as it is with our fragile sense of self, the search for natural parents to anchor one's identity, and Lee's elegant, imagistically sinuous prose that continually stabs the heart." -Sam Coale, Providence Journal
"Somebody's Daughter is that rare book, that rare page-turner, the one you cannot put down, the one you will suspend washing the laundry for or cooking breakfast for. It is the novel you will open and read in one urgent breath as you take in the storyteller's compelling tale of lives felt long after the book's end as you turn off the light to sleep." Lois-Ann Yamanaka, author of Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers
"Be prepared to put yourself in the adoptee's frame of mind. It is written from our viewpoint, and it's a keeper."Eun Mi Young, Adoptive Families
"Her colorful characters crackle and pop off the page . . . A grown-up gem of a novel where joy mingles with sorrow, and heartbreak is laced with hope."
-Allison Block, Booklist, starred review
- Beacon Press
- Publication date:
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- Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- NOOK Book
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- File size:
- 425 KB
Meet the Author
Marie Myung-Ok Lee, author of three young adult novels, including Finding My Voice and Saying Goodbye, has received many honors for her writing, among them an O. Henry honorable mention, and both Best Book for Young Adults and Best Book for Reluctant Readers citations from the American Library Association. She is currently a visiting scholar at her alma mater, Brown University, in Providence, Rhode Island.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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I loved this book -- I'm not Korean American or adopted, but I am a fan of great novels, and this is one. The two parallel stories of Sarah and her birth mother are beautifully written, and the mystery of whether Sarah will meet her birth mother is revealed to my great satisfaction. The description of life in Korea (now and in the early 1970s) is very evocative. This is one of my favorite books of 2005.
'Shortly after landing in Seoul to begin language classes, Sarah Thorson, a 19-year-old Korean-American adoptee raised by Minnesota Lutherans, is called a Twinkie--'yellow on the outside, white on the inside.' The taunt hardly fazes her. 'In a taxonomy of Hostess junk food cakes, I went beyond Twinkie. I was a Sno-ball, the coconut treat that's white to the core.' Sarah's wry honesty is just one of the pleasures of this wonderfully observed novel. Interspersed with Sarah's adventures in Korea's often-bewildering terrain is the story of Kyung-sook, a shrimp seller haunted by memories of the daughter she had to abandon. Resisting easy resolution, the dual narratives bring to life a country where 'everything was changeable in the blink of an eye.' Somebody's Daughter is a treat.'' --Ellen Shapiro
The story of Sarah, a Korean adoptee and her struggle with being Korean but knowing nothing about her heritage. Also the story of her birth mother and why she made the decision to give her up. I am a Korean adoptee too and I could really relate to the book. Although it is fictional it gives a perspective that many adoptees can attest to - that being adopted was probaby for the best, but it is still difficult not knowing your own personal history. The book gives a great description of Korean attitudes and it's culture, past and present.
This novel is by far the BEST I came across in a long time. It's a story of a woman trying to find her Korean identity. I know there's a lot of stories like this but Lee did a great job writing about the protagonist's journey and emotions. Overall, great book!!