Broken Summer: Book summary and reviews of Broken Summer by J.M. Lee

Broken Summer

A Novel

by J.M. Lee

Broken Summer by J.M. Lee X
Broken Summer by J.M. Lee
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  • Published Sep 2022
    256 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

A death, a lie, a secret. For twenty-six summers he didn't have the courage to face the past.

Lee Hanjo is an artist at the peak of his fame, envied and celebrated. Then, on his forty-third birthday, he awakens to find that his devoted wife has disappeared, leaving behind a soon-to-be-published novel she'd secretly written about the sordid past and questionable morality of an artist with a trajectory similar to Hanjo's. It's clear to him that his life is about to shatter and the demons from his past will come out. But why did his wife do it? Why now?

The book forces Hanjo to reflect on a summer from his youth when a deadly lie irreversibly and tragically determined the fates of two families.

From master storyteller J. M. Lee, one of Korea's most renowned authors, comes an unforgettable novel of hidden truths, denials, and their inevitable repercussions. Everyone still left standing from that terrible summer so long ago must finally reckon with the deceptions that started it all and, twist after shocking twist, reap both the suffering and the vindication that comes with revenge.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[M]esmerizing...Lee excels at psychological realism...The pace never feels forced, and Lee does a masterly job of selecting the telling detail. Haeri's body, for instance, is covered by self-inflicted scars. This exquisite portrait of minds torn apart by mourning will appeal not just to mystery readers." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"This is an engrossing and beautifully written mystery, with complex characters that Lee delicately strips bare." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Skillfully rendered into English by translator An, the novel contemplates these issues in a murder mystery notable for its nuanced storytelling…A subtle psychological thriller." - Kirkus Reviews

"Broken Summer is an elegiac thriller, a vivid family portrait, a study of guilt, deception and revenge across class divides, and the gifted JM Lee's most accomplished novel to date." - David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas and Utopia Avenue

This information about Broken Summer was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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DD

Interesting read but major hole… (Spoiler!)
Did I miss something?
Stop here or accept the spoiler.



The father is send to have left some evidence on the body, with the inference that it’s sperm (bodily fluids). But if the death was a suicide how did the father leave his mark on the body (found in the river)? And why? Did he have sex with the dead body to bolster his fake confession?

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More Information

J. M. Lee's books have sold millions of copies in his native Korea. He is the author of Painter of the Wind, the historical mystery that launched his career and was adapted into a popular and award-winning television series in Korea; The Boy Who Escaped Paradise; The Investigation, nominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and among the final six books selected for the Italian literary prize Premio Bancarella; and Broken Summer, an instant bestseller in Korea and currently in production as a television series.

An Seon Jae is an award-winning translator who was born in England in 1942. He has lived in Korea since 1980 and took Korean nationality in 1994. He has published fifty collections of translated modern Korean poetry under the name Brother Anthony and currently translates contemporary Korean fiction under his Korean name. He is a professor emeritus at Sogang University and a chair professor at Dankook University in Seoul, and he has been a member of the Community of Taizé in France since 1969.

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