Stealing Cinderella: How I Became an International Fugitive for Love

Fencetree. Oct. 2019. 346p. ISBN 9781732819931. pap. $16. MEMOIR
Diehl’s (The Book of Eadie) memoir details his experience teaching English in South Korea, meeting his future wife, and being driven out of South Korea by her family. While a pleasant enough read, this account is ultimately a linear narration of events, and readers will come to anticipate what happens next well before the event actually takes place. What had the potential to be an exciting, thriller-style narrative of a man and woman on the run turns tedious, with well over half of the book consisting of dialog, which makes it unbelievable as a memoir. In addition, the dialog often serves no purpose in moving the plot along or establishing characters.
VERDICT Though it occasionally (if stereotypically) sheds light on differences between American and South Korean cultures, this memoir cannot be recommended. Readers in search of an American’s experience in South Korea might want instead to turn to Elizabeth Rice’s Rituals of Separation.

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