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All Woman and Springtime

A Novel

by Brandon W. Jones

All Woman and Springtime
  • Critics' Opinion:

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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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Rosemary C. (Austin, TX) (03/21/12)

All Woman and Springtime
A well-written book about a difficult topic, human sex trafficking. The characters are developed and sympathetic. The reader follows them from the highly controlled, paternalistic country of North Korea to the tightly run, male-run international brothels. It's a compelling story, though the ending seemed a bit abrupt and could have used some further explanation. It does celebrate the strength of the human spirit even in what appear to be hopeless situations.
Michele J. (03/21/12)

This book is unputdownable!
I am stunned by the beauty and intelligence of the writing. I agree with Alice Walker's assessment of this wonderful book as, "absorbing, chilling, beautifully written and important..." Brandon Jones has fully placed the reader in North Korea and created a world and whole, endearing characters inhabiting it....
A stunning book, not to be missed!
Kristin P. (Reston, VA) (03/16/12)

A must read
This is a heartbreaking book on a very important topic. 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 issues but rather helps the reader see it from the characters' perspectives. This book is well-suited for a book club-make sure you allow for ample time for discussion-and for students interested in women's studies. While this book is heartbreaking, I became completely engrossed in the story and could not put the book down. It is a truly unique book and beautifully written.
Margaret L. (Petoskey, MI) (03/15/12)

Intensely powerful story
All Women and Springtime is an intensely powerful story about the sex trafficking of young Korean girls and it is explicitly written; so much so that portions of the book were emotionally difficult to read and I found myself skipping over the sexually abusive parts. And yet, the story drew me in and haunted me to continue reading with ever so much hope that there might be a happy ending. This book is certainly not for young readers.
Jacquelyn H. (Blanco, TX) (03/15/12)

Intense and Informative
The book All Woman and Springtime is the story of human trafficking concerning innocent young women and brothels. The story begins in a North Korean orphanage where young women in puberty become involved with human traffickers. The story moves from North Korea to South Korea to Seattle, Washington in a fast paced story of abuse and as well as hope for survival. I loved this book from the intense and innocent loyalty to the South Korean "Big Brother" to the loss of innocence, the endurance, desperation, and redemption of the characters. Wonderful.
Power Reviewer Lee M. (Creve Coeur, MO) (03/15/12)

WOW
One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. The story of Gyong-Ho and Il-sun, two North Korean orphans, spans only a few years but encompasses a lifetime of degradation, and abuse but also holds a glimmering of hope. Perhaps a little too realistic at times, definitely for a mature audience, but nonetheless a gripping story which you will long remember.
Rebecca R. (Kona & mainland U.S.) (03/13/12)

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.
Audrey C. (Canfield, OH) (03/13/12)

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!
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Beyond the Book:
  Human Trafficking in North Korea

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