Kay's Lucky Coin Variety by Ann Y. K. Choi ~ Book Review

Book Description:

A bittersweet coming-of-age debut novel set in the Korean community in Toronto in the 1980s.

This haunting coming-of-age story, told through the eyes of a rebellious young girl, vividly captures the struggles of families caught between two cultures in the 1980s. Family secrets, a lost sister, forbidden loves, domestic assaults—Mary discovers as she grows up that life is much more complicated than she had ever imagined. Her secret passion for her English teacher is filled with problems and with the arrival of a promising Korean suitor, Joon-Ho, events escalate in ways that she could never have imagined, catching the entire family in a web of deceit and violence.

A unique and imaginative debut novel, Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety evocatively portrays the life of a young Korean Canadian girl who will not give up on her dreams or her family.

Purchase a copy through Simon & Schuster Canada

About the Author:

Originally from Chung-Ju, South Korea, Ann Y.K. Choi immigrated to Canada in 1975. She attended the University of Toronto where she studied English, Sociology, and Education. Ann has also graduated from the Humber School for Writers, the Creative Writing Certificate Program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies, and is completing her MFA in Creative Writing at National University in San Diego, California. In 2012, she received the Marina Nemat Award. 

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This is a coming-of-age story of a South Korea girl living with her family in Toronto, Ontario Canada, set in the 1980's. Her parents moved the family to Canada to make a better for their two children, working hard day and night in a family run convenient store. Mary who is the main character is having a hard time fitting into school and finding her place in the new world. She has a multi-cultural group of friends who all seem to be in the same situation. Mary's mother wants her to marry a good Korean boy and so she has been set up with one who holds a bunch of secrets that Mary unfolds.

This was written well for a debut novel, moving the story along at a steady pace, having the reader wonder how Mary will deal with the problems that she is faced with and will she achieve her goals in the end. Mary grows immensely throughout this novel and it is a great journey to be on with her. I felt like I could empathizes with Mary and feel her emotions as she overcame some very real situations. The story and characters were very well developed bringing us along on their journey in life. I also liked reading this novel as I got a glimpse into another culture and some of their beliefs and traditions.

I look forward to reading more from Ann Y. K. Choi. I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

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~*Disclaimer: I received the above book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.*~


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