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ALL WOMAN AND SPRINGTIME
A mesmerizing book that many will find hard to read. Gi, the main character, changes from a brutalized, terrified 10 year old to a near catatonic teen to a woman of untapped strength in this tale of a North Korean girl condemned and then rescued from a concentration camp. She finds a friend in the orphanage but when it is their time to leave the orphanage and strike out on their own, they are betrayed by Il-Sun’s lover and sold into trafficking in South Korea. When they try to escape they are transported to the US in a sealed container on a ship and become sex slaves. Eventually Gi is able to escape and finds a new life because of her ability with numbers.
Don't Miss This One!!
North Korea and human trafficking are shown graphically, but not exploitively. The sex (and there is indeed sex) is used to convey the horror and terror of young girls trapped in a life they cannot escape. I read this nearly 400 page book in just two days, compelled to keep reading and sorry when they book ended. Although horrifying, the book is also a celebration of the resilience of the human spirit. Americans may find themselves seeing the homeless and immigrants with a sense of unease and guilt after reading this book.
This was a fascinating, fast-paced story without a minute to put the book down! Being caught up in the lives of Jasmine, Gi, II-sun and Cho was undeniably real. I felt like I was being tugged along with these four women as they struggled through their daily lives, trying to make sense of who and what they are. Being sold into prostitution was a huge blow to their ego’s and their inexperience was shamelessly embarrassing to watch. My heart bled for these young women as they were forced into things they never even dreamed about. Stripped bare of their innocence and purity was hard to swallow.
Theresa R. (Sierra Madre, CA)
Brandon W. Jones hit the mark with this one, showcasing the realities of human trafficking and what that type of life does to a person. The ending was so sad and one I never saw coming and cried over. All that angelic innocence lost forever. I would highly recommend this book to everyone, don’t miss it!!
This book was well written and very easy to get through. I liked the way the author brought each character to life and you really get to know each one - liking some and despising others. I liked the story as a whole - bringing to light the subject of "slavery" today.
Beverly J. (Huntersville, NC)
Survival of the Fittest
I think this would be a good book club read as it would bring about some good discussions.
This well-paced debut novel following two girls lured into human trafficking will chill you to the bones. The effective use of the landscape makes it another character/narrator of the story, and thus understanding one place helps us to understand another, thus making it a universal story. We learn that survival depends not only adopting to your present situation but allowing your mind to believe there is hope, even if it is a unattainable hope. From the tight control of the North Korean political culture controlling every aspect of an individual’s life by a whim to the unforgiving world of sex workers as a commodity, every reader will be touched by this heart-breaking tale.
Marion T. (Palatine, IL)
All Woman and Springtime
Though difficult to read this is a compelling story on a very important subject-human trafficking and sexual slavery. It is for the mature audience since the contents are graphic, but realistic. That being said, Brandon Jones has written a beautiful, chilling, important novel. The hopelessness that these young girls had to live but the hope in their hearts that one day they would be out of this life made for a very compelling story that hooks the read right from the start.
Lynn R. (Dixon, IL)
Couldn't Put It Down
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.
Sally D. (Racine, WI)
All Woman and Springtime
All Woman and Springtime begins with the story of two young women, Il-Sun and Gi, living at the Home for Orphan Girls in North Korea. Part I describes how both girls arrived at the orphanage, the daily rigors of their lives as seamstresses and the overwhelming fear of living under the North Korean regime ruled by "the Great Leader Kim Il-sung". It is made clear how both girls long to escape their oppressive lives.
Kenneth R. (St. Louis, MO)
Good read about a bad subject.
Without giving more away, Parts II through IV follows their lives to South Korea and the United States where they unwillingly become involved in sex trafficing.
There are marked changes in style through the story, perhaps done to highlight the abrupt changes the girls go through as the story progresses. 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.
While the ending of the story seems a bit contrived all in all, this is a very readable book. I would be willing recommend it to others.
This book is mail about sex trafficking. 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.