The Island of Sea Women (Large Print / Library Binding)

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Staff Reviews


Lisa See has done it again! In her latest book, she has beautifully captured the lives of the people on the Korean island of Jeju and the delicate, strong and complex relationships between women. Her novel follows the life of Young-sook, beginning in 2008 when she is an old women sorting seaweed on the beach and jumps back to the 1930’s when Japan occupied Korea and Young-sook was a young teenager starting her training as a haenyeo diver. The opening scene of Young-sook sorting seaweed on the beach as an old woman has a young family asking her if she knows this woman in the old photograph because they think she was in the woman’s wedding. Young-sook quickly says no and to ask someone else. All the women on the beach sorting seaweed have given this family the same answer. The novel then jumps to Young-sook as a teenager with her best friend Mi-ja, as the girls are getting ready to start diving. We find out that Mi-ja was the woman in the photograph, leaving us with a big question, what happened to these two women to cause such a rift the their relationship? This is where Lisa See’s real magic comes in, her intricate storytelling weaves the history of Korea and the complex relationships within women, as mothers, daughters, friends, and wives together seamlessly. A beautiful read that will leave you with an empty tissue box.

— Jessica

March 2019 Indie Next List


“Off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island is home to generations of haenyo—women who take their living from both land and sea and call the shots in their matriarchal society. Young-sook and Mi-ja are best friends in the 1930s, learning to dive with their all-female collective while their island suffers under Japanese colonialism. Lisa See follows them as they grow up under Japanese rule, into WWII, to the Korean War and its devastating aftermath, and into the 21st century. The Island of Sea Women is not only a story of friendship found, lost, and found again, but also a richly detailed picture of a unique culture of women in a world spinning out of control. Amazing detail and presence.”
— Janet Rhodes, BookPeople of Moscow, Moscow, ID

Product Details
ISBN: 9781432860424
ISBN-10: 1432860429
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Wheeler Publishing Large Print
Publication Date: April 16th, 2019
Language: English