The Island of Sea Women
By Lisa See
Read by Jennifer Lim
I LOVED this audiobook. The story is fascinating and the reader is proficient in portraying all the characters.
On the Island of Jeju, south of South Korea, East of China, and West of Japan, lives a unique culture where women dominate – they do dangerous work and the men stay home and take care of the babies and children.
Mi-ja and Young-sook are two friends whose lives are tested by the outside influences from the Japanese colonialism of the 1930’s and 1940s, World War II, the Korean War, and the challenges of our modern world.
The women free-dive in bitterly cold waters wearing only thin white cotton wrapped around their bodies and heads. They carry weighted nets to hold their finds of edible sea creatures. One diver is almost killed by an octopus and another one drowns while hunting for abalone.
I love a good sense of place, and this book does it. And if you like historical novels, the unforgiving details of the domination and wars that affected this island are beyond imaginable.
I’m intrigued how Young-sook worked so hard to provide for her family. The haenueo are incredible women who look out for one another and forge lifetime friendships. – Deb