This immersive novel follows four generations of a Korean family from 1910, when Japan annexed Korea, through most of the 20th Century. An aging fisherman and his wife run a boarding house in a village near the port city of Busan. Their only surviving son, who has a cleft palate and twisted foot, is married at last. When his teenage daughter Sunja becomes pregnant by a visiting businessman, a kind pastor marries her and takes her to Osaka. After he dies, Sunja’s grit and hard work keep the family afloat during the tough war years. Her elder son makes it into Waseda University. Her younger son thrives by running pachinko parlours, where gamblers play machines in a game similar to pinball. But their future is shadowed by past secrets and betrayals.