To Swim Across the World

Overview

Korea, 1941, for Sei-Young Shin, a young man born into a poor family in the rural south, it is a time of oppression. The Japanese have issued strict provisions against the Korean language, religion, and food, and Sei-Young is learning important lessons about humiliation and defiance. For Heisook Pang, the daughter of a prominent minister in northern Korea, life is easier. But the onset of World War II changes everything, as Heisooks privilages are suddenly stripped away, and she is forced to make a daring escape,...
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Overview

Korea, 1941, for Sei-Young Shin, a young man born into a poor family in the rural south, it is a time of oppression. The Japanese have issued strict provisions against the Korean language, religion, and food, and Sei-Young is learning important lessons about humiliation and defiance. For Heisook Pang, the daughter of a prominent minister in northern Korea, life is easier. But the onset of World War II changes everything, as Heisooks privilages are suddenly stripped away, and she is forced to make a daring escape, slipping across the border into the South, where her destiny crossed that of Sei-Young in an encounter that changes both their lives forever.
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Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World
... the story is a compelling one... about a man and a woman born into turbulent times...
Sunday Oregonian
This is both a love story and an intimate lesson in Korean history.
Sun-Sentinel
The Parks' novel is no dry recitation of the past, but a beautifully written tale. It provides contemporary readers with an understanding of two families, a strong culture and the richness of the human spirit.
Korean Quarterly
... a remarkable rendition of the plight of a people during the ravages of war and separation... with language that is poetic yet simple...
USA Today
Exquisitely rendered...lovely novel. Deftly written...more than just a love story - a vivid portrait of people forced to submit to decades of oppression, and the heartbreak of war. Its lyrical flavor makes it appealing to adults and teenagers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786867332
  • Publisher: Miramax Books
  • Publication date: 6/13/2001
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.97 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Frances Park
FRANCES PARK and GINGER PARK are the authors of several award-winning books for children. The idea for The Have a Good Day Cafe originated many years ago when the authors would drive to work together and see a Korean family setting up an outdoor food cart each morning. The Parks both live in the Washington, D.C., area.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2005

    A Great Book!, a must read for everyone!

    This is one great book. I recommend that everyone read this book. It will fully touch your heart and will leave you thinking about it for days after you've finished reading it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Interesting historical fictionalized account

    In 1941, Japan invades the Korean Peninsula. In the north, Heisook Pang barely feels the impact of the foreigners and most of that through tales of horror far to the south. Heisook, her brother, their parents, and occasionally a visiting cousin still split their time between Sinuiju and Heavenly Mountain. At the same time in the south, the Japanese are everywhere and even those living in rural sections such as Sei-Young Shin daily feel the domination of the conquered. <P>When World War II ends, the Cold War immediately moves into the Peninsular. A man-made barrier of hatred suddenly splits families and relatives are no longer able to visit one another across the line. Heisook finds the Communist North quite oppressive especially after her father is taken away. In 1947, she flees to the south knowing she has little to live for anymore in North Korea. At the same time, Sei-Young Shin finds Seoul a thriving place to flourish, soon becoming an accomplished orator for freedom. By 1950, the Communists cross the 38th Parallel and Sei-Young and Heisook have met, fallen in love, and married. <P> TO SWIM ACROSS THE WORLD is an intriguing tale that uses a historical fictionalized account of the parents of the authors as a backdrop to a turbulent decade in Korea. The story line is fantastic as the alternating paragraphs describe what is happening to Sei-Young and Heisook while outside events shape their lives. Genre fans have a winner worth reading and hopefully the Park siblings will continue the family saga with what happened during the following decades. <P>Harriet Klausner

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