Initial Thoughts on The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn #FReadom #historical #fiction #HistoricalFictionAroundtheWorld #mustread #books #amreading

After a short hiatus, let’s return to my Historical Fiction Around the World series, shall we? I’ve chosen The Mermaid from Jeju by Sumi Hahn as next up on my world tour of historical fiction by authors outside of my native USA. If you’ve missed my previous reads, you can do a quick search on the series title to find the others I’ve commented on over the last year or so.

I’ve borrowed it via Hoopla this time, and at least the ebook is formatted correctly. Should make reading it easier and more enjoyable instead of frustrating like some have been. The story is copyrighted 2020 and is 304 pages long. It’s set in Korea in 1910-1945 while that country was occupied by Japan, but the first scene (a sort of Prologue?) is set in Philadelphia in 2001. Interestingly, the Acknowledgements appear after that opening scene—to ensure more readers read it or is it a mistake in the formatting? Sumi Kahn was born in Korea, grew up in the USA, and now lives in New Zealand. She’s probably had a wealth and variety of experience to inform her stories, don’t you think?

There are two parts plus a section called “One Last Story” which I’m eager to find out more about. Hahn included a Glossary of Korean Terms and also Readers Club Guide Questions. I have only virtually dipped my toe into this aquatic tale so I don’t have much to say about it yet. I can tell Hahn has a commanding authorial voice and the story is engaging to me. I’m looking forward to getting back to reading it as a result.

I’m glad to be able to return to this series because I enjoy the stretch to my reading experience through choosing books based on author’s native/resident country instead of purely by topic or familiarity with any given author. Each of these books was recommended to me by other historical fiction readers, so I feel fairly safe randomly picking from the list. Note that I’m in the K’s now so approximately halfway through the alphabet working backwards.

I’m off to continue reading and I’ll have more next week after I’ve finished reading it. Happy reading!


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