Welcome to the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop by Hwang Bo-reum – Our Review
‘Welcome to the Hyunam-Dong Bookshop’ is an ode to booklovers everywhere. Filled with poetic prose, I read it with a journal beside me, finding myself stopping regularly to scrawl a breathtaking phrase on the pages before I could continue reading.
Set in a small town outside of Korea, with fantastic cultural layers, the story is pure magic.
Yeongju is a mess, her complicated marriage is falling to pieces, her illustrious career is overwhelming her with burnout and her sense of identity is tied up in cultural and familial expectations that quash her sense of self.
Buried deep down, Yeongju has always dreamed of opening a small independent bookshop, and when her life becomes too much, she does just that. The novel welcomes the reader to join in as she enlivens her dreams.
The bookshop is a safe healing haven for Yeongju alone, as customers dare not to enter and interrupt her uncontrollable display of tears for the first few months. To overtime, Yeongju finding peace amongst the bookshelves and her bookshop becoming a wonderful welcoming space for all who enter.
This is a whimsical story filled with hope and wholesomeness as it unravels the reality of life, with all of its twists and turns. As someone who has always felt a little awkward and out of place in the world, the author has captured the way books and reading create a magic sense of home that is quite unlike anything else.
I loved it, and booklovers everywhere will, too.
Review by Lydia @ Great Escape Books
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