GATHERING OF PEARLS by Sook Nyul Choi

GATHERING OF PEARLS

Age Range: 12 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 In this sequel to Choi's autobiographical Year of Impossible Goodbyes (1991) and Echoes of the White Giraffe (1993), 19-year-old Sookan continues her journey--this time leaving Korea to study at Finch, a Catholic women's college in White Plains, N.Y. Although frightened by the enormity of her adventure and confused by the strangeness of American culture, Sookan is determined to excel at her studies, work for her keep, and serve as unofficial ambassador for her country. She has little time to enjoy what her bubbly roommate Ellen calls ``college life''--parties, football games, and young men. Sookan makes friends but feels guilty whenever she has fun; she has a responsibility to her family, as her older sister Theresa keeps reminding her, that her American classmates cannot begin to understand. Sookan rebelliously feels that many of the American customs are good, although she can never lead Ellen's carefree life. When tragedy comes to her again, Sookan recalls what her mother used to tell her: Just as oysters make pearls out of grains of sand, women create something precious from their suffering. Preparing to face life alone, Sookan gathers her strength--her pearls--and resolves to succeed. Sookan is sometimes annoyingly good, but the story of her struggle with her Korean heritage makes her more than just an ethnic Pollyanna. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-395-67437-9
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1994




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