Like Wind Against Rock

Lake Union: Amazon. Jun. 2021. 224p. ISBN 9781542025461. pap. $14.95. F
Long-buried family secrets threaten to ripple dangerously through a Korean American community when Alice Chang Markson’s father dies unexpectedly, and her mother immediately transforms herself from traditional Korean wife into a sexy, swinging single and successful businesswoman. Mystified by her mother’s behavior and unmoored by her own recent divorce, Alice decides to have her father’s private journal translated, believing it holds the key to understanding her parents’ marriage and how she herself became an underachieving, sweatpants-wearing couch potato in her late 30s, living in her childhood home after the failure of a stable but childless and passionless 14-year marriage. Shot through with humor and empathy, this well-crafted novel weaves together the stories of various lives of quiet desperation, with themes of first- and second-generation immigrant identity and belonging, from different perspectives.
VERDICT Kim’s second novel (after Chinhominey’s Secret) is a slow-moving but compelling intergenerational family drama set in a Korean American community in Southern California. Readers will root for Alice to emerge from a decades-long crisis of confidence and self-doubt to reach her full potential.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing