The Island of the Sea Women by Lisa See (Book Review)

The Island of Sea Women is a story of two friends who happen to be haenyos or sea women on the remote Korean Island of Jeju. The novel encompasses their life right from the time they meet as young girls, become best friends, travel away from home for work to their respective marriages, married life, and a rift in their sisterlike bond.

The novel deep dives into the culture of the haenyos, the Korean women of the sea who dive into the sea every day while risking their lives to run their households. In the Haenyo culture, women were the breadwinners of the house while men took care of the babies and depended on their wives for money. The story is set during the time when Korea was stuck between war and its aftermaths. This allows us a direct view into the life of the citizens and empathize with them.

It took me some time to get into it, but the story made me feel a lot of emotions and I enjoyed the experience. You should pick up this book if you enjoy historical fiction, cultural books or stories based on friendships.    

I would give the book 4 stars.


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