I adore sweeping stories that show the passing of time and evolution of culture in a place and the impact of those changes in the lives of the average people. Beasts of a Little Land starts off in the remote Korean forest where a Japanese soldier is pursued by a tiger, he is saved by a local boy and that one action has a domino effect on many lives over the next few decades. Jade a local girl is trained from a young girl as a courtesan and we see her accept what is a better life for her than the poverty she would have endured with her own family. We see her struggle with her desire to befriend others who are not so fortunate as her. Over the years she is challenged and tested as her star rises and she is eventually able to buy her own freedom. The lives of several other characters intertwine with hers as the Korean occupation by Japan takes more and more from the citizens. Each character is faced with tough choices in order to survive, to love and to fight for their freedom.
The characters were rich and nuanced with many moments of introspection as they reflected upon their changing circumstances. I really loved how we were able to see several of the characters thrive in the face of adversity, often times these stories of war only show loss. This story balanced well the idea that even amongst strife one can find stasis or even growth. The love stories nestled within were heartwrenching.
This one is perfect for fans of Pachinko or Memoirs of a Geisha. I split my time with this one between reading and listening to the ALC I received from Libro.fm. The narrator was fabulous and added such texture to the characters. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐💫
What’s the last story you read based in a culture other than your own?