#BookReview MIRACLE ON CHERRY HILL by SUN-MI HWANG

ABOUT THE BOOK

Celebrated bestselling author Sun-mi Hwang is back with a heartwarming new novel about renewal and friendship.

This is the story of a man named Kang Dae-su. His whole life is a miracle, rising from poverty to running a successful construction company. In his twilight years, Kang is diagnosed with a brain tumour. He returns to his childhood home of Cherry Hill. He acquires a crumbling old house in which to retreat from the world, yet the residents of the town have other plans. They seem hell-bent on intruding on Kang’s private property. But who does the house, and Cherry Hill, really belong to? Is it owned by the construction company who is trying to rejuvenate the neighbourhood? Or does it belong to the residents who have used the land to play, think, walk, love and explore for generations? And how is the bitter and despondent Kang’s childhood tied to this magical place?

Miracle on Cherry Hill is a redemptive story of a damaged man regaining his trust in humanity. It explores the fragility of nature and human lives and is much-loved classic in South Korea. Includes beautiful illustrations inside.

PUBLISHED BY ABACUS

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

WHSmith

hive.co.uk

MY REVIEW

Stunner of a little book that gives you all the feels! It’s always a delight to read a story that is told in a gentle way and features a character who is returning ‘home’ with the intention of seeing out his last days all alone, but he finds that the home he remembers has been reclaimed by the community. This angers him to begin with, but as he starts to spend time amongst the young and old who use his land for a variety of daily activities, he begins to soften his approach to what he perceives as a harsh world and embraces the warmth he receives from the local community.

The way that Kang deals with his illness by addressing ‘Sir Lump’ is a really clever way of telling his story and the way he looks back on his memories trying to make peace with them. That’s why he wanted to spend time alone, but seeing the world through the eyes of others allows him to take on new things to pass his days. Through talking to others he gets to learn more about himself as a person and the past that he thought he remembered has light shed on it.

There are no big shocks, no twists and turns but it was a beautiful little book that was easy to read and one I’ll be going back to over time.

★★★★

#BookReview SNOW,DOG, FOOT by CLAUDIO MORANDINI

ABOUT THE BOOK

When winter comes, man and dog are snowed in. With stocks of wine and bread depleted, they pass the time squabbling over scraps, debating who will eat the other first. Spring brings a more sinister discovery that threatens to break Adelmo Farandola’s already faltering grip on reality: a man’s foot poking out of the receding snow.

PUBLISHED BY  PEIRENE PRESS

PEIRENE #31

PUBLICATION DATE – 15TH FEBRUARY 2020

PRE-ORDER LINKS

Publisher Website  £12

Amazon £12

MY REVIEW

Adelmo is a man after my own heart – he doesn’t like people and prefers to spend his life living alone out of the way in the mountains, roaming the valleys and venturing into town only when he needs supplies. He seems to find comfort in the solitude, but sometimes being alone so much plays games on your mind and that is what is explored brilliantly, and beautifully in this book.

I didn’t quite know what to make of this book from the start but the more time you spend with Adelmo, then the more you get to understand his ways. But the more time you spend in his presence, the more you realise his mind isn’t quite coping with life – he is forgetting about trips he’s made to the town or people he has spoken to, and resents the fact that a ranger keeps an eye on him as he sees it as interfering and just wants to be left alone.

The only friendship he seems to allow is with a dog who starts hanging around him, and won’t be scared off and it was really quite touching to see moments shared between them – they really form a sweet bond and he begins to feel quite settled having him around. He doesn’t feel threatened by the dog as he seems to do with people. To him, the things happening seem so real so when he meets people who recount the story differently, he feels extremely threatened and scared by their recollection.

I loved how it explores the fragility of the mind, set in spectacular surroundings, and the language used was just the perfect pitch of showing how loneliness can take its’ toll – it’s dark, touching, tragic, funny and heartbreaking and for a book of only 120 pages it really packs a punch and will stay with me for quite some time.

★★★★