Natasha Jean Cabuco
May 12, 2012
Year of Impossible Goodbyes Book Review
The Price of Freedom in Times of War
Sook Nyul Choi has written a heart-breaking book about love, brutal, loss, and the agonized life of a little girl, named Sookan, and her family. She has titled it Year of Impossible Goodbyes. The story has a lot of sacrifices and decisions that were hard to make, like this one, “Please, I beg of you, let’s not waste time talking about my [Aunt Tiger] coming along anymore” (Choi 125). It is a true story based on her experience under the dictatorship of the Japanese Imperial Government during World War II. After the war ended and the Japanese lost, Russia sent troops into Northern Korea to accept the surrender of the Japanese. As the Russian Communists occupy North Korea and threaten Korean civilians, Sookan, the narrator, faces the Japanese, the Russians, and her fight into South Korea. After I read this marvelous novel it reminded me of my family; I assure you it is one of my favorite books, and while I read this book, I learned that I could have different emotions!
The novel reminded me of my family because they are always with me while Sookan’s parents, from time to time, were apart from her. Her Grandfather had always reminded them “Harmony will prevail, after darkness there will be light, yet we cannot have the light without the dark. Better days are bound to come now” as Cabuco 2
some of the family members were away (Choi 46). When I used to be alone at home with my grandfather, he used to tell me something similar to this about always sticking together, but when alone do not lose hope. Inchun reminds me of myself when I was small, because I used to follow my brothers everywhere, and I used to annoy them by whining and crying.
This novel became one of my favorite novels because it taught me about pain, sacrifices, and loss. I could feel the pain Sookan went through as I read “I heard the dogs drawing closer and I thrust my...