Love in the Big City

Grove. Nov. 2021. 240p. ISBN 9780802158789. $26. F
DEBUT A best seller in South Korea in 2019, Park’s first novel (following a short story collection) features an aspiring writer in his 20s with the author’s name and follows his quest for love as a gay man. The novel’s early pages detail Young’s friendship with his best friend and roommate Jaehee, a barista by day and tutor by night. The two share a passion for life and exchange unabashed tales of their numerous sexual conquests, but events take a turn when Jaehee settles down to marry her fiancé and Young must seek out a life of his own. What results is a lightly comical and insightful tale of a man, now in his 30s, who cares for his highly religious, strong-willed, but frail mother as she battles cancer; Young meanwhile seeks to better understand himself and to trust others enough to find happiness in life.
VERDICT Centering on relationships (or the lack thereof), this work offers readers honest characterizations of flawed individuals from different walks of life who are all looking to find contentment regardless of their circumstances. Park’s writing is introspective and relatable, and the broad-ranging themes make this a good candidate for book group discussions.
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