In 1904, facing war and the loss of their nation, more than a thousand Koreans leave their homes for the promise of land in unknown Mexico. After a long sea voyage, these emigrants—thieves and royals, priests and soldiers, orphans and families—discover that they have been sold into indentured servitude.
Aboard the ship, the orphan Ijeong falls in love with a nobleman’s daughter. When the hacendados claim their laborers and the two are separated, he vows to find her. But after years of working in the punishing heat of the henequen fields, the Koreans are caught in the midst of a Mexican revolution . . .
A tale of star-crossed love, political turmoil, and the dangers of seeking freedom in a new world—from an author who is “at the leading edge of a new breed of South Korean writers”—
is an epic story based on a little-known moment in history (
Philadelphia City Paper
“‘Can a nation disappear forever?’ . . . [In] a tale of collective loss, political revolution and the individual quest for self-determination . . . Kim brings us the souls caught up on the ground of this larger drama.” —
“Spare and beautiful.” —
, starred review
“Readers who remember the historical fiction of Thomas B. Costain, Zoe Oldenbourg [sic] and Anya Seton will appreciate [Kim’s] extensive research and empathic imagination.” —