The culture, class, and family clashes within the life of an impossibly ambitious woman.
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Casey Han's four years at Princeton gave her many things, "But no job and a number of bad habits." Casey's parents, who live in Queens, are Korean immigrants working in a dry cleaner, desperately trying to hold on to their culture and their identity. Their daughter, on the other hand, has entered into rarified American society via scholarships. But after graduation, Casey sees the reality of having expensive habits without the means to sustain them. As she navigates Manhattan, we see her life and the lives around her, culminating in a portrait of New York City and its world of haves and have-nots.
An excellent read raising questions of wealth and womanhood, what it means to struggle to succeed. I appreciated the extensive list of characters and Lee's ability to move seamlessly between stories.
It was a slow read, but I enjoyed the characters. There was too much detail in some parts and not enough in others. The ending was ambiguous. But there is something about it that will stay with me.
Long read, but an interesting & engaging one on the Korean-American experience from a variety of angles and characters. Appreciated her treatment of characters & the complicated way they developed.
Kansas city, MO
Min Jin Lee beautifully captured different backgrounds of Korean culture and intertwined them in a way that was hard to put the book down. Young, middle aged or old you related to every character
Saint George, UT
I can’t decide if I love Pachinko, which takes place over generations, or Free Food for Millionaires, which follows one character over about 20 years, more. But i know I love Min Jin Lee!!
Min Jin Lee can truly tell a story. The characters flawed and imperfect, they leap off the page. Lee's writing is so beautiful and human I felt myself unable to stop reading most nights.
Dont let the length discourage you! This book flew by and I was so sad for it to end. It was an amazing read, coming of age, classism, racism, sexism, so thought provoking and relatable.
I adored Min Jin Lee's sophomore novel, Pachinko, and this is definitely no different. I love Min Jin Lee's takes on the Korean-American experience, as a Korean-American woman myself <3
Relatable as a college educated female, regardless of ethnicity. Beautifully written, integrating many characters and story lines which kept my attention throughout the lengthy novel.
Washington , DC
I love a slow book where you get to really know your characters. It feels like you’ve known them forever. Min Jin Lee is a master storyteller whose characters feel incredibly human.
Oak Park , IL
This was just so lovely . It covers a lot in 661 pages--a coming of age that seems like a fluffy, relationship novel that also hits hard on gender and racial power dynamics.
San Jose , CA
Excellent writing! Loved all the characters and their stories..I would have liked a stronger or more meaningful ending. Felt like Casey was back to square one at the end!
Virginia Beach, VA
I loved everything about this book. So beautifully written. Kept me engaged all the way through. But there should be a Trigger warning due to a rape scene near the end.
EAST HARTFORD, CT
I loved this book from beginning to end! Every chapter sucked me in more and more. Well developed characters, true story line. Just a wonderful book all the way around!
Colorado Springs, CO
Loved this book. Develops characters and relationships, intertwining themes and food for thought. Left me with a book hangover—bc what book can follow all of that.
Min Jin Lee has written a book that draws you in from the first page. The characters were intriguing and multidimensional. Their lives a fascinating struggle.
New York, NY
Very well written and nicely weaves the lives of Korean immigrants and their 1st generation American born children. Min Jin Lee has such a way with words.
This is one of my new favorite books. The story was so eye-opening and I was completely captivated by the journey of everyone in this book.
Insight into the Korean culture in NYC. I liked the story and complicated society, class and identity problems addressed in the book.
New York , NY
A long but excellent story. I thoroughly enjoyed everu page, and loved the evolution of all the characters from beginning to end.