Korean Word for Butterfly

I downloaded this book from Amazon a few months ago, when it was for free, because I knew Virtual author book tours was about to organize a tour and I wanted to participate. But I’m a bit disappointed with the the novel.

The background of the story is the 2002 World Cup in South Korea, and the accident in which a US tank killed two Korean girls. There are three main characters and there are chapters for every one of them.

Billie is a girl from the States who has went to Korea with her boyfriend with a false certificate, in order to work as teachers in a school where the kids learn English since they are very young. They have some difficulties at the beginning, but soon they get used to life there in Korea, without paying much attention to the news and their military compatriots.

Moon works at the English school and he is in charge of looking for new teachers when needed. This man had an alcoholism problem and now his wife lives apart from him with their child; Moon hasn’t drunk since then and all he wants is to be with his family again.

And finally we have Yun-ji, a Korean secretary at the school who has a relationship with a US soldier, but whose feelings towards US people, in general, prevent her from going ahead with him.

I think that I didn’t like the book partly because of the female characters: both girls’ behavior was more like a teenager’s instead of adult women. Both deal with abortion in a different way and in the end they make different decisions: the girl whose life was easier decided not to have the child, just the opposite as the other girl did; but I didn’t really find it like an important issue in their lives. Besides, neither the background nor the false titles of the American couple have great importance within the story; it was as if you were expecting a momentous scene that never came.

Despite the downsides, I have to say I loved Moon: he is a character impossible not to like, because he could have been a bad guy in the past, but now he is doing things remarkably well and the reader can’t help but to pray for his wife to give him another chance. He really deserves it.

Summarizing, the story seems plain and doesn’t take much advantage of the political backdrop. It’s an easy and light read but, with the exception of Moon, the characters don’t make you get into it.