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Review: I’ll Be Right There

August 28, 2014

I'll Be Right There

The impending death of a beloved professor makes Jung Yoon recall her college days.  She was deeply saddened by her mother’s death but was determined to finish college and returned to the classroom after a year’s absence.  She became friends with fellow students Miru and Myungsuh.  Together, the three of them explored Seoul and it’s changing landscape during the turbulent 1980s.

Part coming of age story and part historical fiction, I’ll Be Right There by Kyung-Sook Shin and translated by Sora Kim-Russell, is a beautifully written, thought provoking story.  At times heart breaking, I was enchanted with Yoon’s story from the very beginning.  I loved her relationship with her friends and her professor and found the backdrop of a politically turbulent Korea fascinating.

The story alternates between Yoon’s point of view and diary entry’s written by Myungsuh.  Kyung-Sook’s writing is beautiful so it’s easy to get lost in her words.  The story is slow to unravel but the writing is so lovely, I didn’t mind.

The audio version of I’ll Be Right There is narrated by Erin Moon.  It was good to hear the names and places pronounced correctly but, overall, I thought the narration was good, but not great.  The audio version is approximately 10 and a half hours long.

Review copy provided by Lisa Weinert Consulting.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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19 Comments leave one →
  1. August 28, 2014 4:05 am

    I love books about friends, and haven’t read anything based in Korea, so this sounds like a good choice for me.

  2. August 28, 2014 6:53 am

    Sounds kind of depressing!

  3. August 28, 2014 10:27 am

    Doesn’t sound like your typical read. The friend thing is something I experienced lately with Murakami’s new book. I do like to explore friendships in my reading.

  4. August 28, 2014 11:14 am

    The setting, including the time period, interest me. I am glad you found this one beautifully written even if not the best narration, Kathy. I will have to keep my eye out for this one.

  5. August 28, 2014 1:29 pm

    Kathy, this sounds like my kind of book. I’m glad you enjoyed listening to this beautifully written book.

  6. August 28, 2014 1:54 pm

    I could tell you really liked this book the way you wrote your review. I could picture you smiling as you typed

  7. August 28, 2014 3:00 pm

    I’ve got this one on my TBR list, so I was excited to read your post. Sounds like a book I will definitely enjoy reading.

  8. August 28, 2014 3:10 pm

    Not sure I would like this, but thanks for sharing your review and your thoughts.

  9. Patty permalink
    August 28, 2014 3:24 pm

    This does look like a totally different kind of book for you! But you seem to explore lots of genres.

  10. August 28, 2014 4:38 pm

    This sounds like an emotional one!

  11. August 28, 2014 5:18 pm

    I’m impressed with the variety of books you read! I’ll need to keep this in mind.

  12. Beth F permalink
    August 29, 2014 7:36 am

    Sounds wonderful. I might try it in print … though I do like knowing how everything is supposed to be pronounced.

  13. August 29, 2014 8:33 am

    This sounds fascinating.

  14. August 29, 2014 2:34 pm

    I like the sound of this one! May try to get the audio so I can hear the words pronounced correctly.

  15. August 29, 2014 10:44 pm

    Hm. Maybe I’ll have Jason try the audio first 🙂

  16. August 30, 2014 10:09 am

    Seoul isn’t a place I seem to come across very often in books…it sounds interesting!

  17. August 31, 2014 12:24 pm

    This sounds wonderful, and I’m glad the translation was good.

  18. bookingmama permalink
    September 3, 2014 9:18 am

    The story sounds fascinating. I might have to check out this one!

  19. September 3, 2014 9:33 pm

    Sounds like a great book for Travel the World in Books. I won’t have time to get to it during the Readathon but I am putting it on my list for the challenge!

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