Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Book Review
Political Novel

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Book Review

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Book Review
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Book Review

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

 “No normal man would want to raise another man’s child unless he was an angel or a fool,” her mother said.

“I will take good care of you, but I cannot marry you. My marriage is already registered in Japan.”

Koh Hansu has a wife and three children in Osaka. He cannot marry Sunja. But Sunja without knowing that becomes the victim of Hansu’s desire.

And when Baek Isak, the pastor comes to know about the helpless condition of Sunja from her mother he proposes to marry her to give the child a name.

Min Jin Lee is a highly acclaimed Korean-American author known for her powerful storytelling and poignant exploration of themes such as identity, culture, and the immigrant experience. Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in the United States, Lee brings a unique perspective to her work that bridges the gap between East and West. Lee gained widespread recognition with her second novel, “Pachinko,” published in 2017.

“Pachinko,” is a masterful and sweeping tale that captures the essence of generations, intertwining the lives of a Korean family with the backdrop of a tumultuous era. With exquisite prose and meticulous attention to detail, Lee paints a vivid picture of love, sacrifice, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Spanning several decades, “Pachinko” follows the journey of Sunja, a young Korean woman who finds herself caught in a web of circumstances beyond her control. Set against the backdrop of colonial Korea, the novel explores the complex interplay of culture, identity, and the enduring strength of familial bonds.

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Pachinko by Min Jin Lee, Book Review

One of the novel’s greatest strengths is Lee’s ability to create richly developed characters who feel incredibly authentic. From the tenacious and compassionate Sunja to the ambitious and conflicted Isak, each character is imbued with depth and complexity. Their struggles, dreams, and flaws are laid bare, allowing readers to forge an emotional connection that lingers long after the final page.

The exploration of themes such as prejudice, discrimination, and the search for belonging adds further depth to the narrative. Lee delves into the complex dynamics of being Korean in a foreign land, highlighting the hardships faced by the characters as they navigate a society that often marginalizes and devalues them. Through their experiences, she tackles profound questions of identity, loyalty, and the universal yearning for acceptance.

Moreover, Lee’s meticulous research and attention to historical accuracy are commendable. The historical backdrop of the novel, from the Japanese occupation of Korea to the aftermath of World War II, is seamlessly interwoven into the characters’ lives. The authenticity of the setting adds a layer of richness and enhances the novel’s impact, making it not only a captivating work of fiction but also an enlightening exploration of a tumultuous period in East Asian history.

Alvina’s Verdict:

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is a captivating saga of love, loss, and resilience. Min Jin Lee’s ability to craft a narrative that spans generations while maintaining a sense of intimacy is nothing short of remarkable. This profound and poignant novel is an absolute must-read, destined to leave a lasting impression on readers long after they turn the final page.

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Hi, I'm Munmun here and welcome to my book blog. I'm an English Teacher. But more than that I love to read books and write down my thoughts. I feel we can change the world by circulating the introspections of great columnists throughout the world. You are free to contact me at


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