My sister took an Asian Literature class. She wanted to get rid of some books to make some space in her apartment. That is how I got one of her books, Clay Walls. I was drawn to read it somehow because the cover was just so plain. It said Clay Walls in red, and Kim Ronyoung in Black. The cover other than that was just plain white, with a Korean symbol.
The book is about a Korean family that immigrated to California in the early part of the 20th century. I liked reading this book because I got to learn about Korean history, culture, and see life through people who are immigrants in a new country. I got to understand a lot of their difficulties and trials that they go through. I did not know that Korea used to be occupied by Japan. According to this book, the occupation was brutal, with the Japanese torturing and treating the Koreans very unfairly. That is why a lot of the Koreans came to America, to run away from Japanese oppression.
It was also very interesting to learn about the discrimination and other obstacles an immigrant family goes through.
As for how the book is written, It was separated into three parts. Part one was from the perspective of The mom. Then the second part was written from the perspective of the father. Finally, the third part was written from the perspective of the daughter. I liked the book a lot better from the perspective from the mom. Parts two and three I had trouble relating to and getting into the narrative.
In the beginning, things in the family seem bad, but eventually they become prosperous. Then the family takes a few unfortunate turns, and everything goes sharply down hill. It is truly depressing to read about. Especially when you get used to reading about a prosperous family in the first part of the book. I liked Part I because as I mentioned it was from the mom's perspective, but also because the family was happier, and what I did not mention before, was that there was just more detail in the story. Not boring detail, but just cool details that made the story come alive. Later on in the book it seemed that there was less little details and it was more of a summary of what took place. Overall, I think that the book was a good read. I don't recommend it for children though, because there are some love scenes in the book. They are not too detailed, but still, I would rate it pg-13 or R because of that. The book showed that there was little love between the husband and wife, whose marriage were arranged. The man was a farmer, and the wife from the upper-class of Korea. She did not find him attractive, and saw him as inferior. Also, the husband never really opened up to the wife and expressed himself, which caused a lack of closeness between them. That aspect of the book was interesting to take note of.