This English-translated graphic novel presents a serene and spiritual view of the life of young Ehwa. Over the course of three novels, Ehwa grows from a small child to an adult woman in early 20th century Korea. The first book focuses on her childhood, her development, and her relationship with her mother. On a side note, the story of Ehwa is based on the life of the author’s mother growing up in Korea.
Ehwa is a well-developed character, and readers will appreciate her innocence and confusion at many things that are widely-known and taught nowadays. Perhaps the most endearing aspect of the novel is Ehwa’s relationship with her mother, a widow. Her mother guides her and helps her when she has trouble or confusion.
The book is beautifully illustrated, with many panels having a softness often lost in graphic novels. The balance between the story and the illustrations is skillfully done.
All in all, this graphic novel provides an interesting perspective of a lost time. Readers that enjoy this book should read the sequels, The Color of Water and The Color of Heaven. Also, try American Born Chinese and Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.
For something different, try:
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Review by Carlen