First-time novelist Park orchestrates a vivid and involving novel about a Korean woman who is robbed of her dreams. In 1960, beautiful, smart, and ambitious Soo-Ja intends to become a diplomat, in spite of her wealthy father's refusal to allow her to go Seoul to study. Taking her mother's hint that travel would be more feasible for a married woman, and flattered by the extravagant gestures of handsome Min, whom she believes is as privileged as she is, Soo-Ja rushes into a loveless marriage, in spite of her feelings for another, only to be cruelly betrayed.
Narrator Jack and his mother, who was kidnapped seven years earlier when she was a 19-year-old college student, celebrate his fifth birthday. They live in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a converted shed in the kidnapper's yard. The sociopath, whom Jack has dubbed Old Nick, visits at night, grudgingly doling out food and supplies. But Ma, as Jack calls her, proves to be resilient and resourceful--and attempts a nail-biting escape.
*This title is part of The Alex Project. Learn more about the Alex Project here.