Can’t I Go Instead (Paperback)
  • Can’t I Go Instead (Paperback)
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Can’t I Go Instead (Paperback)

(author), (translator)
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£14.99
Paperback 384 Pages
Published: 09/11/2023
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From the author of The Picture Bride, two women’s lives and identities are intertwined — through World War II and the Korean War — revealing the harsh realities of class division in the early part of the 20th century.

Can’t I Go Instead follows the lives of the daughter of a Korean nobleman and her maidservant in the early 20th century. When the daughter’s suitor is arrested as a Korean Independence activist, and she is implicated during the investigation, she is quickly forced into marriage to one of her father’s Japanese employees and shipped off to the United States. At the same time, her maidservant is sent in her mistress’s place to be a comfort woman to the Japanese Imperial army.

Years of hardship, survival, and even happiness follow. In the aftermath of WWII, the women make their way home, where they must reckon with the tangled lives they’ve led, in an attempt to reclaim their identities, and find their places in an independent Korea. 

Publisher: Scribe Publications
ISBN: 9781915590381
Number of pages: 384
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

‘Can't I Go Instead’s complex and profoundly human characters will captivate, devastate, and move you, all at once.’ - Juhea Kim, author of Beasts of a Little Land and Dayton Literary Peace Prize finalist

‘A true feast for historical fiction readers who love unpredictable stories and complex characters!’ - Lorena Hughes, award-winning author of The Spanish Daughter

‘Compelling and inspiring, this story speaks of resilience and determination to make the best out of the situation one has been dealt.’ - Booklist

‘Can’t I Go Instead is an epic work of historical fiction by acclaimed Korean author Lee Geum-yi that vividly brings to life the tumultuous early 20th century in Korea … Lee’s exhaustive research into the realities of the era, from the atrocities of the Imperial Army to the treatment of Asians in America, underpins this propulsive novel. Fans of emotional yet historically accurate fiction will find Can’t I Go Instead a transportive reading experience and meaningful perspective on the past.’ - NZ Booklovers

Praise for The Picture Bride: ‘Cleverly orchestrated and poignantly conveyed throughout.’ - Daily Mail

Praise for The Picture Bride: ‘Lee Geum-yi has a gift for taking little-known embers of history and transforming them into moving, compelling, and uplifting stories ... a must read!’ - Heather Morris, New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Three Sisters

Praise for The Picture Bride: ‘Lee Geum-yi has a gift for taking little-known embers of history and transforming them into moving, compelling, and uplifting stories. I loved Willow from the first page to the last. Loved her courage, and her tenacious, yet caring, beautiful soul. The Picture Bride is the ultimate story of the power of friendship — a must read!’ - Heather Morris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Three Sisters

Praise for The Picture Bride: ‘A fascinating journey into the world of Korean “picture brides” whose lives take unexpected turns as they land on distant shores. A beautiful testimony to those women bold and determined enough to leave behind all that was familiar, seeking a better life.’ - Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author Before We Were Yours and The Book of Lost Friends

Praise for The Picture Bride: ‘A transporting and immersive story that will enthral historical fiction readers. Poignant and moving, its unforgettable characters will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.’ - Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba

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“This is just a great, humane, and engaging novel.”

The story of two Korean women, starting in their early childhood in 1920s Korea (under Japanese occupation), and ending with their deaths many decades later. The women, whose life intertwine as the story progresses,... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 0

“not for me”

Having read The Picture Bride, I was happy to get this one. Unfortunately, I DNFed it early on. I found it very slow and confusing with all the characters involved in the story. So is more a me problem than a book... More

Paperback edition
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