With 20 out of 21 reviewers rating it 4 or 5 stars, Brandon W. Jones's All Woman and Springtime is a top pick among BookBrowse readers! Here's what they have to say:
This well-paced debut novel following two girls lured into human trafficking will chill you to the bone (Beverly J); the characters are fully developed and sympathetic (Rosemary C). While the passages detailing the horrors of human trafficking are graphic at times, the author treats each passage and the characters with respect. He does not sensationalize the issue but rather helps the reader see it from the characters' perspectives. Though the book is heartbreaking, I became completely engrossed in the story and could not put it down. It is a truly unique book and beautifully written (Kristin P). I will remember this novel long after it's been put back on the shelf (Rachel D). Brandon Jones has written a beautiful, chilling, important novel (Marion T).
Some readers were interested to learn about human trafficking in North Korea:
Through the pages of this book I was able to experience the hidden life of North Korea and the complexity of sex trafficking throughout the world. I found the story disturbing but the character development fascinating, and I couldn't put it down (Lynn R). I was stunned by the beauty and intelligence of the writing... Brandon Jones has fully placed the reader in North Korea and has created an entire world along with endearing characters to inhabit it... this book is not to be missed (Michele J)!
While others enjoyed Jones's ultimately uplifting message:
All Woman and Springtime celebrates the strength of the human spirit even in what appears to be a futile situation (Rosemary C). The story encompasses a lifetime of degradation and abuse but also holds a glimmer of optimism (Lee M). This is not an easy story to read. It is moving and gut-wrenching; at first glance, it seems there is no hope. But it turns out there is hope, and strength, in perhaps the least likely of people (Madeline M).
However a few readers found room for small improvements:
The reverence of the North Koreans for the "Dear Leader" was a bit overdone in my opinion, but the story of three women who make the journey from North Korea to Seattle via Seoul, against their will, and somehow overcome one adversity after another held my interest to the very end (Kenneth R). While the ending of the story seems a bit contrived, all in all, this is a very readable book (Sally D).
Who should read this book?
I think this is a great book club read as it brings about good discussions (Theresa R). All Woman and Springtime is certainly not for young readers (Margaret L) - there are some very explicit descriptions of mental, physical and sexual torture throughout the book, but they are necessary to the telling of the tale (Sally D). This book is well-suited for students interested in women's studies (Kristin P) or for people interested in foreign cultures, as it opened my eyes to how people from the isolated country of North Korea live and think (Angela S).
This review was originally published in May 2012, and has been updated for the March 2013 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.
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