Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Step From Heaven

A Step From Heaven
An Na
Front Street Imprint

A Step From Heaven was my first read by an author also new to me. I appreciate Na's writing style here because it gives the reader a sense of how a child processes her relationship with her family and her environment, and how she processes life as an immigrant. We experience the process of assimilation through the eyes of a child; we witness how she and her family learn a new language and how they adapt to American culture whose values and behaviors seem very different from their own. Na provides the reader with an intimate look at how limiting and frustrating a language barrier can be. I like how the author uses choice Korean words and phonetic spellings to illustrate how Young and her family hears American words.

The subtle changes in Young Ju's voice and the impressions she relates as she matures are believable. All of these elements create a character who is endearing and strike me as authentic. And while the story encompasses a great deal of time, I think Na does an admirable job. I'm looking forward to reading The Fold.


KB said...

I read The Fold last summer and enjoyed it. Even though it focuses on a particular aspect of beauty, you can relate it to other measures women go to in order to look "acceptable to society".

Tea said...

I will definitely look for this book. Thanks for the great review.