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Spirit of St. Louis

The student news site of St. Louis School, Milan

Spirit of St. Louis

The student news site of St. Louis School, Milan

Spirit of St. Louis

Kim Jin-young, Born 1982

A Book Review
Book+of+the+Week
Book of the Week

A book originally written in Korean, set in Korea, it follows the story of a 33 year old woman named Jiyoung who lives an ordinary life with her husband and toddler, for whom she has recently left her job to take care of. The book deals with many themes such as gender discrimination, sexism, and patriarchy in Korean society. It is an honest, frustrating and important read; it portrays the story of a girl whose in-laws wanted a boy, a girl who was sexually harassed and blamed for failing to provide a son, a girl who was overlooked for promotions in her workplace because “women can’t lead teams because of marriage, maternity leaves, and kids.”She was expected to leave everything in life in order to start a family. As the story progresses Jiyoung slowly starts to lose her identity, becoming just “another face in the crowd”.

What is really interesting is just how ordinary Jiyoung is (even her name is one of the most common ones in Korea). She is just another faceless woman whose main priority becomes her family.

The author uses both facts and fiction as she uses statistics and surveys to support her points.

This book is extremely thought-provoking, gross, disgusting, harsh but above all realistic. When I read it I cried because of the misogyny we face in a patriarchal society from the second a girl is conceived until she is an adult. It talks about how women struggle with their place in society and what is expected of them – it is also a fact that many women (especially mothers) sacrifice so much for their families to get nothing in return.

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