I'll Be Right There: A Novel
How friendship, European literature, and a charismatic professor defy war, oppression, and the absurd
Set in 1980s South Korea amid the tremors of political revolution, I’ll Be Right There follows Jung Yoon, a highly literate, twenty-something woman, as she recounts her tragic personal history as well as those of her three intimate college friends. When Yoon receives a distressing phone call from her ex-boyfriend after eight years of separation, memories of a tumultuous youth begin to resurface, forcing her to re-live the most intense period of her life. With profound intellectual and emotional insight, she revisits the death of her beloved mother, the strong bond with her now-dying former college professor, the excitement of her first love, and the friendships forged out of a shared sense of isolation and grief.
Yoon’s formative experiences, which highlight both the fragility and force of personal connection in an era of absolute uncertainty, become immediately palpable. Shin makes the foreign and esoteric utterly familiar: her use of European literature as an interpreter of emotion and experience bridges any gaps between East and West. Love, friendship, and solitude are the same everywhere, as this book makes poignantly clear.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - croknot1 - LibraryThing
First I liked it, then I didn't like it much, but by the end, I loved it. We get to know Jung Yoon, and some of her friends while she is in college in Korea. We get brief glimpses of her childhood ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Laura.Rose.W. - LibraryThing
To me, I'll Be Right There was more of a feeling than it was a story. I wasn't reading words as much as I was reading someone's hard felt emotions. Reading and feeling, for a while, became one and ... Read full review
Chapter 1 Parting
Chapter 5City Walls
Chapter 7Bottom of theStairs
Chapter 8ASingle SmallBoat Chapter 9IfWe Hug A Hundred Strangers