When an American mother’s three adopted children reach their teens, they grow curious about their Korean heritage. A much-anticipated letter from Korea fails to satisfy them but sparks memories in the eldest. So begins the heartbreaking and inspiring tale of their birth mother’s life as their adoptive mother imagines it.
Abandoned as a baby and then again and again, Mi Sook is raised in a Korean coffee shop by its string of owner-mothers. She grows to adulthood fiercely independent and eventually comes to manage the shop. But her marriage to Kun Soo, with whom she has three children, begins a series of events that ultimately wrench her babies from her arms. Deceived by Kun Soo and his well-intentioned mother, and unsupported by a rigidly Confucian culture, Mi Sook emerges as a tragic and heroic figure who embodies the rich complexities of a nation—and of the heart.
Joanna C. Scott is a poet and the award-winning author of Pursuing Pauline, Charlie and the Children and Indochina's Refugees: Oral Histories from Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. She took her undergraduate degree at the Univeristy of Adelaide and her graduate degree at Duke. She now lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
“A smart, sensitive book about independence, identity, and survival.”
— The New York Times Book Review
Publication Date: August 15, 2000
trim size: 6 x 9