Book: The Island of Sea Women
Author: Lisa See
A deep and impactful story, The Island of Sea Women offers a well-researched glimpse into a matriarchal culture.
Written by Lisa See, the story explores the lives of the Haenyeo (sea women) on the Korean island of Jeju.
The book delivers a large amount of information about these women, who do the fishing while their husbands stay home taking care of the children – a practice dating back hundreds of years to a time when men who fished were heavily taxed by Korean kings, while women paid no taxes.
There are several layers to this story, which sees two women and best friends, Mi-ja and Young-sook as the main protagonists.
The author has seamlessly developed the narrative through seven decades and there is plenty to learn from the extensive research she has carried out to ensure an authentic and accurate portrayal.
The story unfolds from the 1930s, moving through time and telling of the bond formed by Mi-ja and Young-sook as children, and the events of their lives, both happy and heartbreaking.
As a reader you’ll experience so many emotions as you turn the pages of this truly beautiful book.
The prose is vivid and eloquent, the characters are extremely well developed, and the plot is skilfully crafted as it unravels the struggles, atrocities, challenges and the complexities of life and relationships within it.
Commitment, connection and honour run deeply through this story.
It is a riveting piece of historical fiction that I was completely gripped by and the author has done a fantastic job of shedding light on a place and culture that the world seemingly knows very little about.
I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a meaningful and educational read.
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See is available at all major online book retailers. I downloaded my copy from www.kobo.com for £7.99.