Country #55: The Marshall Islands

Oceania! I’m back, happy to be here, and ready to learn about the Marshall Islands.
Coolest flag ever, BTW.

Reading Mauritius: The Last Brother

This is such a good book. I love it, without reservations.

If you’ve been following this blog, you already know I don’t do full reviews. I’m not going to tell you much about what happens, or offer critiques from a literary standpoint…none of that. Those restrictions make for some awkward going sometimes, but it’s the only fair way to log this journey and share what I’ve learned, while at the same time giving you all the freedom to uncover these books in your own way.

So, I’ll keep this brief, even though I could ramble on for hours…the author, Nathacha Appanah, has managed to put into words all of the intensity and ferocity of love, and of loss. It was so recognizable and yet so often unseen, it took my breath away.

It’s that good. That’s all I’m going to say.

You’ll also learn some really interesting, not-talked-about-much history, but that’s for you to find out…

Sugar Cane Near Long Mountain
Sugar Cane Near Long Mountain (image by Simisa, via Wikimedia Commons)

Country #54: Mauritius

Mauritius: it feels really far away from where I sit. I know a little, but not much. Looking forward to learning.

Reading South Korea: Drifting House

When I was doing research for South Korean literature, I came across a list in Vanity Fair of  5 Korean Novels You Should Read.  One of the first things said was “these aren’t Beach Reads”. And indeed – they are NOT.  I’m going to take their advice and run with it anyway; three of the five recommendations are sitting in my living room.  First up: Drifting House, by Krys Lee.

This book kicked my ass. The long-lasting devastation of war. The destruction, down to the family level, of a nation torn apart. What it means to be an immigrant, and then again the next level of being a first-generation kid, carrying all that weight and more. This collection of short stories digs in deep, grabs you by the collar and doesn’t let go. There were moments of wanting to put it down, to just return it to the library and find something else easier to digest, but nope. The author manifested this unflinching thing, and it was on me to stay. Even though it wasn’t always easy, it was entirely worth it.

Seoul at Night
Seoul at Night (image by KLuwak , via Wikimedia Commons)