Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Step from Heaven by An Na

A Step from Heaven by An Na

Young Ju is very young when she learns that her family is moving from Korea to America (Mi Gook). She doesn't quite understand and thinks that the trip on the plane to the USA will take her to heaven. She grows up in America with an American schooling system but still has very Asian parents that try to make her adhere to her Korean culture. Young Ju's father becomes verbally and physically abusive the longer the family stays in Korea, making Young Ju question whether she should act according to her Korean background or act like kids of her new country.

This short book has definite segregation between it's chapters, as there was usually a change in time between them. It was never made very clear how much time had elapsed from the last chapter which made me feel like I was always trying to get my bearings. The only other problem I had with the book is that many Korean words are used and I had to enlist my husband to help me translate as he is 1/2 Korean.

The story is mildly depressing but there is always the glimmer of hope of living the "American dream" and being better off by having moved to a new country. I enjoyed this story of a family's immigration and cultural adaption experience.

First Line: "Just to the edge, Young Ju."


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