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Forgotten Country

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A Booklist Top 10 First Novels of 2012 pick
A Bookpage Best Books of 2012 pick

“A richly emotional portrait of a family that had me spellbound from page one.”—Cheryl Strayed, bestselling author of Wild

The night before Janie’s sister, Hannah, is born, her grandmother tells her a story: Since the Japanese occupation of Korea, their family has lost a daughter in every generation, and Janie is told to keep Hannah safe. Years later, when Hannah inexplicably cuts all ties and disappears, Janie goes to find her. Thus begins a journey that will force her to confront her family’s painful silence, the truth behind her parents’ sudden move to America twenty years earlier, and her own conflicted feelings toward Hannah.

Weaving Korean folklore within a modern narrative of immigration and identity, Forgotten Country is a fierce exploration of the inevitability of loss, the conflict between obligation and freedom, and a family struggling to find its way out of silence and back to one another.

From Publishers Weekly

Dec 12, 2011 – In this beautiful debut novel, sisters Janie and Hannah demonstrate very different reactions to their Korean parents and heritage. The dutiful Janie has carried the weight of having to look after the more manipulative but possibly more lovable Hannah since childhood. Woven with tender reflections, sharp renderings of isolation, and beautiful prose, the story traces Janie s and Hannah s Midwestern upbringing. Tensions rise when Hannah intentionally disappears while away at college. Janie, haunted by her grandmother s warning that in their family, a sister from each generation always vanishes, tries to find her, though Hannah makes it clear she doesn t want to be found. Chung simultaneously shines light on the violence of Korean history, the chill of American xenophobia, and the impossibility of home in either country. In Korea, couples dress alike to show the world that they re together. Families, sisters, teams, groups delight in wearing a uniform.... Here is the lesson: nothing is more important than belonging. Though both sisters know this to be true, they struggle with how to make peace with one another and their past until an unanticipated trip to Korea allows everyone to see more clearly.

Customer Reviews

Forgotten Country

Yuk! What misery. I see the points made,,, but. Yuk. I wish I hadn't read it

Family relationships

Wonderful book. I found it hard to put down as the characters evolved along with their relationships with each other. I thought of my own family and the trials that relatives had been through to settle in this country and in the end was reminded of the fact that in today's technological society that family history and their stories are being regrettably lost.

Forgotten Country
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  • $12.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Family
  • Published: Mar 01, 2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 304 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings