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The Lucky Gourd Shop: A Novel Paperback – August, 2000
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From Library Journal
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
First, the notion that a young girl could be orhpaned in the back of a shop and "raise herself" through a succession of "Ama's" (Scott's mistransliteration for mother, "Omma") is preposterously unbelievable. The depiction of this Korean girl as a primitive savage who views TV as "people inside boxes" like Tarzan meeting civilization is outrageously offensive. I won't even go into the depiction of the father as a cruel Oriental patriarch. But her assertion that Korean women are passive, servile slaves to men, who don't even have a name except in relation to her role as mother is distorted and wrong. Men are often addressed as "So-and-so's father" (my own father, for e.g., Jeong-suk Appa) just as women are!; Koreans often do NOT address each other by their personal names but by their relationships: uncle, teacher, sister, etc. But Scott takes the tag of the "mother of such child" and makes it seemas if this is due to sexism in Korean culture. This only perpetuates the worst stereotypes of Korea and makes adoptive parents feel better for having "rescued" Korean babies from that terrible country. I feel sorry for adoptees who read this and will grow and up and feel self-hatred for their horrible country of origin. Does anybody want to talk about America's responsibility for the devastation that took place in Korea that necessitated international adoption?Read more ›
Throughout the events that follow, Scott's powerful narrative voice never fails to convince. In her telling, this is a story without villains; even the violent husband is no monster when we learn the intense economic and cultural pressures with which he struggles. More to the point, it's also a story without victims; as in all great works of literature, Scott's characters are made of flesh and blood, capable of agency and action and especially mistakes. This novel succeeds on a number of levels, as an imaginative leap between nations and generations and as a snapshot of a culture in transition. Most of all, however, The Lucky Gourd Shop is a precise, affecting, and unsentimental portrait of Mi Sook herself, of hardships endured without knowing they're hardships and choices that are scarcely choices at all.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An insightful but sad story of Korean life. Ended too abruptly after going through so much turmoil.Published 5 months ago by Sr Mary Rogers
Much has been made of the recent study conducted by The New School for Social Research showing that reading literary fiction promotes the development of empathy. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Benjamin Paul Myers
Really enjoyed this book. Read it quite quickly because I wanted to see how the story unfolded. Worth the purchasePublished on January 18, 2013 by Beth Nielsen
Good story, but not quite what I was expecting. Great eye opener to another culture. Bits of it were quite disturbing.Published on December 2, 2012 by Jane
The Lucky Gourd Shop This book was on my Church reading list, but I never did figure out why. It was difficult to read about how women and girls were being treated. Read morePublished on November 5, 2012 by Jbgator9
I came across this book by chance, not specifically to read a story about 3 adopted children. I had read Scotts most recent book, The Road from Chapel Hill. Read morePublished on October 27, 2009 by T. M. Lord
Adoption is a two-headed coin -- tremendous joy but at someone else's sorrow.
Ms. Scott has taken the memories of her children, combined them with extensive research into the... Read more
In addition to telling a poignant story with restraint, The Lucky Gourd Shop gives the reader
insight into the dynamics of Korean culture and the intricacies of daily life... Read more
JOANNA CATHERINE SCOTT's knowledge of Korea is evident; the detail is both convincing and delicious to read. Read morePublished on July 18, 2002