BBC: The 10 Best Books of 2017
By Jane Ciabattari
Pachinko, a finalist for the National Book Award, follows four generations of a Korean family from 1910, when Japan annexed Korea, through most of the 20th Century. It begins with an aging fisherman and his wife, who run a boarding house in a village near the port city of Busan. Their 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 keeps the family afloat during the tough war years. One son makes it into Waseda University. The youngest runs pachinko parlours, where gamblers play machines in a game similar to pinball. But their future is shadowed by past secrets and betrayals.
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