Find out the latest indie author news. For FREE.

Formats
Kindle Edition eBooks Details
  • 04/2013
  • 1483997472 B00C2UY052
  • 276 pages
  • $10.95
The Korean Word For Butterfly
Jamie Zerndt, author

Adult; General Fiction (including literary and historical); (Market)

Set against the backdrop of the 2002 World Cup and rising anti-American sentiment due to a deadly accident involving two young Korean girls and a U.S. tank, The Korean Word For Butterfly is told from three alternating points-of-view: Billie, the young wanna-be poet looking for adventure with her boyfriend who soon finds herself questioning her decision to travel so far from the comforts of American life; Moon, the ex K-pop band manager who now works at the English school struggling to maintain his sobriety in hopes of getting his family back; And Yun-ji , a secretary at the school whose new feelings of resentment toward Americans may lead her to do something she never would have imagined possible. The Korean Word For Butterfly is a story about the choices we make and why we make them. It is a story, ultimately, about the power of love and redemption.
Reviews
Zerndt’s latest is a moving novel about consequences and redemption, and the unusual crossing of four lives, set in an foreign country. Billie and her boyfriend, Joe, try to escape their pasts in the States and refresh their relationship by moving to South Korea to teach English. In addition to the usual culture shock, particularly the different educational style, Billie must navigate the South Korean medical system after an unforeseen event, which drastically affects her feelings for Joe. Meanwhile, Moon, a school employee, attempts to repair his relationship with his wife and son after a terrible choice causes him to reevaluate his life. He begins to bond with Joe over their shared love of music; however, he must make a difficult choice when he discovers something about Billie and Joe that threatens their positions. Yun-ji is a school employee grappling with an alcoholic father who hates the Americans living in his country. An encounter with an American soldier causes her to question her own feelings. Tensions rise after two Korean girls are accidentally run over by an American tank; this event leads to all the main characters gathering at once in an climactic encounter. Each chapter alternates between the main characters, fleshing out each’s story. A solid read with a well-constructed plot, Zerndt’s novel deftly captures many personal difficulties of its characters. (BookLife)
Kirkus Reviews

A former record executive, a young administrator, and two American expatriates cross paths teaching English in South Korea in 2002.

In this novel, Zerndt (The Tree Poachers and Other Stories, 2016, etc.switches among three narrators: Moon, who left a high-powered job in the music industry to deal with his alcoholism; Yun-ji, who works and goes to school, dreaming of opening her own internet cafe; and Billie, an American, who, along with her boyfriend, Joe, has come to South Korea to teach English in the school where Moon and Yun-ji work. The three interact frequently, but remain in their own worlds, never learning that although their backgrounds are different, they are united by ambivalent feelings about parenthood and a complicated relationship with alcohol. The main characters’ story arcs take place against a backdrop of tense relations between the United States and South Korea following the killing of two young girls by an American tank—Billie and Yun-ji become pregnant, Moon takes music lessons from Joe and develops a relationship with his toddler son, and Billie and Joe’s deceptions cause problems for their overseas adventure. The story is a quiet one, with most of the narrative taking place within the characters’ minds, but the interpersonal conflicts are sharply realized, driving the plot and bringing the narrative to life. The prose is mixed, sprinkled with clever turns of phrase (“She was a striking woman, though. And by ‘striking’ I mean she had the air of someone who might just hit you if you so much as looked at her the wrong way”) and burdened with choppy sentences and fragments (“Pusan National University. That was where Moon had met his wife. She’d been taking classes to be a nurse. The first time he saw her was at a bus stop”). But the characters are thoroughly engrossing—even self-centered Billie becomes sympathetic as she struggles to connect with a classroom of rambunctious children—and readers will likely keep turning pages to find out what happens in the book’s emotionally satisfying conclusion.

An engaging, character-driven tale set in South Korea.

Formats
Kindle Edition eBooks Details
  • 04/2013
  • 1483997472 B00C2UY052
  • 276 pages
  • $10.95

Loading...