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All Woman and Springtime Hardcover – May 1, 2012
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“A gripping novel.”―O, The Oprah Magazine
“The North Korean government exploits its citizens completely and absolutely, and Brandon W. Jones has taken this as a starting point for a first novel that seems more like the polished work of an experienced novelist . . . Jones' writing provides a sense of urgency -- we want these women to leave, to risk everything in trying to escape their country and find a new life . . . His effort proves up to the challenge of vividly depicting the harsh, terrible circumstances and also believably gives hope that the individualist spark can sometimes carry us through to better things.”―Minneapolis Star Tribune
“An eye-opening journey to the dark side of desire.”―Vogue.com
“Lifting the veil on a little-known country, Brandon W. Jones’s debut novel, All Woman and Springtime, tells the story of two North Korean teenagers escaping the authoritarian state and battling the modern-day slave trade.”―National Geographic Traveler
“[A] moving, heartbreaking, yet hopeful novel . . . This important story exposes startling acts of human cruelty and uncovers the amazing resiliency of the human being, mind and body.”―Salt Lake City Weekly
“A compelling psychological tour of life inside the socially and politically restrictive borders of North Korea via the poignant stories of two young girls on the cusp of womanhood . . . This tale of female friendship is distinguished by its illuminating glimpse into the arcane intricacies of both an ancient and a modern culture. Guaranteed to appeal to fans of Memoirs of a Geisha (1997) and the novels of Lisa See.”―Booklist
“[A] terrifying and masterfully realized debut . . . One of its most impressive achievements is the rendering of main character Gi, who is brought powerfully and beautifully to life . . . Jones depicts both the innocence of his protagonist and the pathologies and violence of the South Korean underworld with great skill and emotional power. VERDICT Impossible to put down, this work is important reading for anyone who cares about the power of literature to engage the world and speak its often frightening truths.”―Library Journal
“Dramatic . . . [A] well-paced story.”―Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Brandon Jones goes where no one really wants to go. He creates beautiful damaged people, awakening to their sense of self, their sexuality and the conflict with a rigid, perverted ruthless dictatorship. Throw in the horrible abuse of trust, the vulturistic preying upon naivety and the ruined lives trying to express the longing for a relationship, and Jones shows us life inside the dictatorship of North Korea. Youth, expression, wants and yearning cannot be denied in this totalitarian regime, to the detriment of those who for a moment reveal their inner self. And they are preyed upon by a subculture that twists their yearning into crimminal enterprise. White slavery. Take everything sacred about the relationship of love and trust between a man and a woman, and now pervert it into explotation - a disturbing submersion into the distorted world of pornography, of the dehumanization of women where false gratification in the act of sex is the end-all of the human relationship.Read more ›
ALL WOMAN AND SPRINGTIME is a serious, well-written, starkly affecting novel that is thoughtful on many levels --- human, philosophical and political. The book presents a distinct picture of the propaganda machine" of North Korea, showing visions of a "utopian" socialist society that has failed completely, transformed into a brutal totalitarian regime. North Korean citizens serve what amounts to a life sentence, and two girlfriends who've been orphaned at the hands of the North Korean government live as "Chosun" by the savage grace of their "Dear Leader," Kim Il-sung. This dictator allows his people extremely limited privileges that include simple survival, daily reprieve from physical and psychological torture --- provided his workers perform up to standards --- and the simple ability to eat reasonably well as long as everyone remains strictly obedient to whatever he desires and thinks.
The two girls who form the subject of this novel are close friends from the orphanage where they grew up. Gyong-ho and Il-Sun were slaves to their own government long before they were sold into the sex slave market. Like all citizens, they have learned since birth to prostrate to their leader, carry mementos of worship that liken him to a god, and labor even as children. Kept under lock and key, they are possessions. The psychological component of their suffering is complex and varies with the many kinds of imprisonment they face.Read more ›
This is a novel of fear and totalitarianism. It is the story of white slavery and the abuse of women by those in power. It is an eye-opening novel of a nation's terrorism and sadism toward people who do not act the right way.
It is also the story of Gyong-Ho and Il-Sun, two seventeen year-old women who have been together in an orphanage since they were children. There they had little to eat and few possessions. They worked in a factory sewing clothes and had no right to expect to advance further than this though Il-Sun wants more for herself. Il-Sun is very outgoing and beautiful while Gyong-Ho is a savant with number, craving to learn about the physical world. They end up being traded into the world of sex slavery.
The book is somewhat simplified in its writing, as though it were written down so that it could attract a larger audience. I felt that there was a young adult feel to the writing though the subjects and themes of the book are very adult.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent.. love it. An interesting perspective of poor women forced into human trafficking and organised crime.Published 6 months ago by Joe KL
I could not put this book down. So compelling to understand how one's view of the world is shaped by what they are told by others and the society in which they live. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Judy Berg
I thought this was a good book, but I wouldn't say I enjoyed it. It was informative about the culture in North Korea. Read morePublished 15 months ago by S.B.Amon
I bought this book because it happened to be on sale, and it is one of the best purchases I have made. Read morePublished 16 months ago by M. Pendley
I almost never write reviews, but I feel compelled to write this one. This is a very interesting story about the cultural influence of North Korea and how The Dear Leader is... Read morePublished 17 months ago by RCoates
You know a writer captures a culture when you can picture your grandmother saying the same things as Nei Nei. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Antoinette R. Pope
A beautifully written book that is eye opening, very sad at times, and yet hopeful. A difficult read, but am so glad to have experienced it.Published 17 months ago by SusieLynn