Review of “Everything Belongs to Us” by Yoojin Grace Wuertz

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I would like to thank NetGalley and Random Publishing House for the ARC of “Everything Belongs to Us” by Yoojin Grace Wuertz in exchange for my honest review. The genres of this novel are Fiction, Women Fiction, and I would add Historical Fiction. The setting of this novel is Seoul, South Korea around 1978. I find that the author describes South Korea’s top University and the Circle, an elite University Club, that are portrayed as symbols of success and wealth for the individuals who strive and work hard.
In this historical timelime, the author shows the diversity of wealth, rich and poor people and how they live. In hardworking poor Korean families,the burdens of life are portrayed. For example, it is embarrassing to have a child born with Cerebral Palsy, and often the family would hide the child with another relative. Some poor Korean women worked in factories, or were prostitutes.
The characters are complex and conflicted. Jisun is a privileged daughter of one of Korea’s top wealthiest business men. She resents the the chauffeur and limousines, and everything materialistic. She joins protests and when other women are locked up, she is removed and brought back home to her father. Her friend Namin comes from a poor home, where she struggles to go to The University, and dreams of becoming a Doctor with all privileges. Namin works hard and has many obstacles in her way. Juno is a student who looks for the easy way. He feels that if he marries Jisun, he will have a wonderful life set up because of the father. Another character Sunam wants to please his comfortable family, and does try to join the elite group with Juno as his sponsor.
The lives of all four characters seem to connect. The author writes of betrayal, greed, manipulation,honor,family, love and hope. I found this novel to be intriguing, and the author’s descriptions impressive.

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