All posts tagged: diverse books

The Island of Sea Women

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa Lee is the first powerful and captivating book that I read this year. The novel is about haenyeo and female friendship. Haenyeo are sea divers and they belong to a matrifocal society, where the women provide for their families. Husbands stay at home, cook and take care of children, while women sell the captured sea creatures and earn their livelihood. The novel is set in Jeju Island when it was occupied by Japanese and later by Americans and was ravaged by violence. The friendship between Mija and Young-sook is the key element of the novel. They grow up together, train as haenyeo, and get separated after their marriages, but keep in touch occasionally. Mija indirectly causes irreparable loss to Young-sook and they turn from best friends to enemies. Will Young-sook forgive Mija? Why did Mija act the way she did? These two questions drive the novel. I did not expect so much violence and See paints a picture that haunts you long after you put the book down. …

Murder Lo Mein

Murder Lo Mein by Vivien Chien is a murder mystery. Lana is the owner of Ho Lee’s restaurant. The restaurant participates in the noodle contest to vie for the top restaurant spot in the Asian Village. One of the most notorious judges of the contest, Norman Pan is murdered. Lara investigates his murder and the string of murders that plague the noodle contest. Were the murders related to the contest or did they have a personal connection? This is my first book by Vivian Chen. I felt that the character description needed a bit of work. I did not care about the murder of Norman Pan. Unlike Agatha Christie novels, where the victim has a rich financial and emotional background, none of it was provided for Norman Pan. He was just a harsh critic whom no one liked. I also did not care about who won the noodle contest because I knew Lana’s restaurant would win. Lana was also a rookie in solving the murder case. I rate this book a 3 out of 5 …