In the book “Still Life With Rice”, a Korean American woman who lives in La Crescenta named Helie Lee who tries to dig up her grandmother’s past, interviewing family members and even going to China. Her gradmother, Baek Hongyong, speaks in first person as her life is opened up for all to see. The story is a detailed representation of her life.
Baek Hongyong starts life as an elite class girl. The first major event is when her older brother marries a faithful but unattractive wife, a part of an arranged marriage. He gets bored and finds another wife, one who is good looking but steals. The others in the family were crippled sister, who was unable to walk since age four, and baby sister.
The next major event was when Hongyong got married. She was part of a glorious traditional wedding that took many days. It was also an arranged marriage, but she was lucky. He was well built and nice and the firstborn, and the two learned to enjoy one another’s company. Hongyong, over the years, gave birth to many children.
No one wanted to marry crippled sister. So the dad offered money and lowered his expectations. He finally even told the matchmaker to look for lower class people. Offering a house, land, and some respect for his daughter’s marriage, a guy finally stepped up. The wedding was not traditional, but the guy still bowed, even though his aunt despised that act. Crippled sister learned to love him, and he would take her on bike rides to explore the area. She even gave birth.
The last sister, Baby sister, was a good looking fellow. A random guy walked up to her dad and offered himself for marriage. The father did not know him, but he pretended to be rich by offering many gifts. However, when baby sister went to his house, she became miserable. He had neither the money nor the family. He took her gold jewelry boxes and the mother was even worse. Eventually the husband would leave for very long periods of time, coming back with alcohol stench and less money. Baby...
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