I don’t really know where to begin with this book. I got it from a second hand shop for one dollar and I decided to buy it because I liked the cover. Apart from the interesting cover the back of the book also stated that the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune voted this book the best of the year. So I assumed it would be a good read.

With all the hype about this book, I was very disappointed with the story (sorry for all the people that loved it). I found I could not get involved and therefore the plot seemed slow and dragging. It is very hard to engage with characters whose names you cannot pronounce (unfortunately I’m not fluent in Korean) and live in a completely different culture and era. The themes of this book being love, marriage and social responsibilities still did not involve me, this maybe due to the narrative being told from the point of view of a Korean Princess (something I cannot really relate to).

I became more interested in the second half of the book when the story follows Dr Babs Halliwell, who on a flight to Korea decides to read the Crown Princess memoirs (which were sent to her anonymously). I thought it would be interesting to know how these memoirs would weave themselves into her life (like the blurb says) but I felt that they did not interweave or barely even crossed paths.

Throughout this book there were some interesting facts that I have now memorised and the story was all right but nothing out of the ordinary, nothing to make me recommend to all my friends. So if you are bored with a couple of days to spare and have ever wondered what 1700’s Korea is like then read this book. If you want an interesting, culturally exploring, diverse romance novel then keep browsing the library shelf.

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