Read It Forward: Favorite Books of 2017

By Ilana Masad


After the turn of the last century, a Korean family finds itself in disgrace when their beloved daughter Sunja winds up pregnant by her deceitful, gangster lover. When Sunja gets a surprising marriage offer from a minister, she accepts, and travels with him to Japan to start over. But things aren’t much easier in Japan for Sunja and her family. Over the course of the century, we follow the family’s saga as they open pachinko parlors—a national obsession that became an addiction for many players, and made good money for the parlor owners. The family struggles with their Korean identity in Imperial Japan, but they experience moments of joy, too. A beautiful book that feels somewhat Tolstoyan—profound yet utterly sink-into-able. (Grand Central)

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