I’ll Be Right There

I’ll Be Right There by Kim Kyung-Sook Shin

Genre: Fiction/War/Translated


I wish someone would promise me that nothing is meaningless…I wish there were promises worth believing in. That after we’ve been hunted and lonely and anxious and living in fear, there is something else. Considering the way we are living now, if we’re young at the end of our lives instead, then maybe our dreams could come true.

1980’s South Korea. The whole of the country is in political upheaval and protestors are a common sight, along with the riot police and the army. A group of college friends face down life at its worst while trying to seek out the meaning of life. And what life means to each of them in turn. The main protagonist is a young girl, who looks back on her life with the upcoming death of her beloved Professor and questions the why, and the people she meets. And the people she’s lost.

This was an astounding read. It blew me away with its sense of humanism and the pain one feels trying to find their place. Love, loss, death, grief, depression, finding your people, and so on. It captured the spirit of the time and put onto paper, the horrors of the era.

But realizing the belief that I am me– the idea that I’m worth something- is just dust, nothing more than wind with no substance, fills me with the bitterest of agonies that gnaws my insides.

And the cat lives, just so you all know.

Maybe if we hug a hundred strangers, something would change.

I recommend this book to everyone. Be prepared.


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