I’m sure you guys will understand this, but sometimes finding a book you want to read is HARD! We read blog posts, search Goodreads and Amazon, listen to podcasts, and still sometimes, somehow, nothing looks good.
So picture this and imagine my surprise: I’m currently reading a book that I’m not super into. It’s interesting and all, but it just isn’t grabbing me like I want to be grabbed. I’m disappointed but I don’t dislike the book enough to put it down considering that nothing else really catches my eye either. And there I am, walking through the library for the first time in ages (find out why I was there in this post), just minding my own business, when I look over at the ‘New Releases’ shelf and get totally sucked in.
This wasn’t the first time I had seen the book that caught my eye when I looked over. I’d seen this title posted on Bookstagram and on Goodreads and it just didn’t seem like one I cared to read. But for some reason, on that day, I.Was.Hooked.
The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See. Maybe I grabbed it because I recognized the title, or maybe I felt drawn to it for some other unknowable reason, but I am SO GLAD I picked it up. Mostly told in the past, this is the story of two friends with pretty significantly different backgrounds on the Korean island Jeju where the women do the dangerous work that puts food on the table and the men stay at home and raise the kids. These women, bound by their customs and their work as fierce female divers, are forced to navigate the choppy waters (
lol) of arranged marriages, friendship, love, and loss.
I’d consider myself pretty widely read in the area of historical fiction, at least when it takes place in western societies, but for some reason I haven’t read many books that take place in Asian countries. I tend to pick up just whatever is in front of me that seems appealing at the time, rather than seeking out specific titles or genres, and it just happens that Eastern cultures haven’t crossed my path very often, but let me tell you, I am RIVETED by this title. I’m about halfway through the book and I absolutely do not want to put it down. I’ve been inspired to intentionally seek out books with cultures so different than my own.
What is the best book you have read that just seemed to find you? Any other suggestions for books set in Asian countries? I’d love to hear your stories/suggestions down below!
And as always, I hope your reading life continues to be outta this world! Happy Reading!