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Reader reviews and comments on All Woman and Springtime, plus links to write your own review.

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All Woman and Springtime

A Novel

by Brandon W. Jones

All Woman and Springtime by Brandon W. Jones X
All Woman and Springtime by Brandon W. Jones
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  • First Published:
    May 2012, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2013, 400 pages

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There are currently 23 reader reviews for All Woman and Springtime
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Angela S. (Hartland, MI)

All Woman and Springtime
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of North Koreans and also naive trusting girls who are sold into the sex slave industry. The characters were believable and really pull you into the story. This book would be great for people interested in foreign cultures, as it opened my eyes to how people from the isolated country of North Korea live and think. I could not get enough of this book and the characters. My only complaint is that the book had to end!
Audrey C. (Canfield, OH)

All Woman and Springtime
In All Woman and Springtime, Jones easily envelopes the reader from page one into the lives of his two main characters and the journey they take from an orphanage in North Korea to South Korea and finally to Seattle. They become sex workers and suffer one indignity after another. This novel is not for a reader who suffers from
"acute cerebral prudery" because Jones explicitly describes the physical, psychological, and sexual abuses heaped upon each girl. Certainly, this is a timeless theme! The girls display the pains of what the atrocities of asocial ignorance, coupled with immaturity and ingrained fear can do to destroy them. Yet, the book's title subtly hints at a potential metamorphosis and perhaps all will somehow be righted so that the girls can be productive and develop self-worth.

Early on a weakish character, Gi, slowly but methodically displays tiny glimmers of survival and coping with her escapes into numbers and calculations. Therein is the hope! To be sure, man's inhumanity to man still exists. But, Gi persists with her retreats into the mathematical world and sustains herself. She proves that somehow the human spirit can overcome these inequities and human interactions, trust, and chance opportunities eventually can create an all woman and springtime - a being to herald a time of rebirth in mind, body, and soul!
Power Reviewer
Rebecca R. (Kona & mainland U.S.)

I Think This Will Be Made into a Movie
I felt like I had secretly stepped into North Korea as soon as I started reading, and after 5 chapter, I emailed a few friends to say, "Get this book when it becomes available." With the 2012 real world death of a member of the North Korean 'Dear Leader' family and the YouTube videos showing some suspiciously orchestrated crocodile tears, I feel like this book could lead to some lively book club discussions. Just yesterday (March 12) North and South Korean diplomats punched each other at a U.N. meeting, so to say this book is timely is an understatement.

Generally, I was impressed with the way the plot progressed; excellent characterization of the sad but realistic outcome to women who thought sex would be their ticket out of a bad life. How many young girls think they, like Il-Sun in the book, are special enough to beat the odds? I realized as I read that I always wanted to read just one more chapter to find out what was going to happen.

Since the book involves human trafficking (I don't want this review to be a plot spoiler so I will stop at that), there are some scenes that probably will keep this novel from being recommended for high school reading. That said, I commend author Brandon Jones for presenting the horrors of this situation very realistically without lapsing into extended scenes. The plot moves on quickly from the graphic details, however, and sometimes there were very thought provoking passages, such as having to account for time (in chapter 54) and Mrs. Cha's contemplation in chapter 63: "Old age is the sum of all the small, bad decisions made in the ignorance of youth." (Even though she goes on to be an epic example of Schadenfreude with Daisy.)

Overall, I am so glad that I selected this book! I plan to recommend it to my book club. I made notations of many characters, events, and passages to discuss. Perhaps that's the former English teacher in me - can't read without making notations to facilitate class discussions. I hope Brandon W. Jones has more novels in the works.
Pat M. (san antonio, TX)

Will recommend to my book club members and friends
"All Woman and Springtime" grabbed by attention with the first chapter and held it to the very last chapter. This is a coming of age story, but it is so much more. It is so easy to get involved with the characters and the plot. I would love to see this on a screen and/or a sequel.

Brandon Jones - give up sculpture and guitar - just write books! I will recommend this book to my book club members and friends.
Rhonda M. (Concord, OH)

An eye opening book
All Woman and Springtime caught me in the first 10 pages. After that it's hard to put down. What a wonderful new writer. As I read this book I became totally absorbed in the mind-numbing journey of Gi and her friends. North Korea is not a place written about very often so I felt as if I myself had stepped behind the curtain of North Korea. And even knowing that the events in the book really do happen I felt it all as if I was one of the girls. Brandon Jones manages to capture their emotions brilliantly so that I felt devastated when they were and buoyant when they were. And as every page was read I started reaching towards the end and praying that the end would be what I wanted it to be. Thank you Mr. Jones for bringing this world to me and opening my eyes to it.
Madeline Mora-Summonte (Florida)

All Woman and Springtime
By the end of the first page, we are fully in Gi's world, drawn in by strong language and powerful descriptions that elevate, never disguise, the actual story. Every character is complex and complicated, and our hearts ache, break and race for these girls.

This is not an easy story to read. It is moving and gut-wrenching, and 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.
Power Reviewer
Becky H

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.
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.
Theresa R. (Sierra Madre, CA)

Good book
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.
I think this would be a good book club read as it would bring about some good discussions.
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