After a lively and interesting discussion of Greek mythology, relations between women and men, between gods and mortals, fate and the coming of age of someone immortal with reference to our January book, Circe, the Field Notes Book Group has chosen our book for February. On February 16, from 11 to 12:30 at The Field Library, we will be discussing The Kinship of Secrets, by Eugenia Kim. Come by the Circulation Desk at the library this week to pick up your copy.
The Kinship of Secrets is the story of a divided family. In the late 1940’s, the Korean family of Najin and Calvin Cho leave Korea for the United States, taking their older daughter, Maran, with them, and leaving behind their infant daughter, Inja, with their extended family in Korea. They all expect Najin and Calvin will return to pick up Inja and take her with them to America, but the Korean War intervenes, and what was supposed to be a brief separation turns into many years. Inja grows up in Korea, knowing she has a family but considering them ghosts, and Maran grows up in suburban America, always aware of her missing sister. The book is told in alternating chapters from the points of view of the two sisters, and explores the consequences of war on one family, and the bonds of family that bring them together while the Korean War and its aftermath push them apart.
In some ways the Korean War is a forgotten war in America, and even when we do hear about it or read about it, we seldom see it from the point of view of people expatriated from Korea. The book promises to give us a different perspective on America and Korea, and I’m looking forward to our discussions. Come and join us.