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Cathryn Jung

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Member Since: Oct, 2011

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The weight of one life
by Cathryn Jung   

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Publisher:  Createspace ISBN-10:  1463589557 Type: 


Copyright:  June 2011 ISBN-13:  9781463589554

Barnes &

This memoir put efforts towards only truth to share one woman’s life experiences with readers. The story tells of pursuing women’s freedom, finding true love, and surviving an immigrant’s real life.

A book that presents an open and honest look at life-defining difficulties and challenges.  Overall, this is and book for anyone interested in honest stories of overcoming adversity, breaking free from oppressive traditional social rules and/or immigraing to America.

After a long, dark, and miserable winter began to recede, the bright, warm spring arrived. Yema turned five years old. She was playing with her friends outside. She and her friends were sitting on the ground and drawing lines in the dirt with their fingers. Suddenly, Yema saw her father’s face between her friends’ faces. Mr. Kim grabbed Yema and took her away to a different city, without her mother’s knowledge. For weeks, Yema cried and missed her mom terribly, but eventually she became exhausted. Mr. Kim introduced a young woman to Yema and demanded that she address her as ‘stepmother.’ The young woman was very nice and kind to her. Whenever Mr. Kim shouted at the young woman, she showed the same fear of his violent nature that Moon had shown. While Mr. Kim was at work, she and Yema would spend time together at home. The young woman tried to please Yema all the time, because Mr. Kim would ask Yema how the young woman had treated her during the day. Whenever he was there, the young woman’s face always showed her tension and fear. Finally, some weeks later, Moon appeared to take Yema away from her father’s home. Prior to that, Moon had gone to court and claimed that Mr. Kim had kidnapped Yema. The court had allowed Moon to find Yema and take her back.
In those days, it was common for men to take their children away from their estranged or divorced wives and to raise the children themselves. Mr. Kim kidnapped Yema two more times after this first incident. Each time, he introduced her to another new ‘stepmother.’ Yema did not really remember who they were and she missed her mother all the time. But Moon found Yema every time Mr. Kim took her away and brought her back home again. After that, Yema did not see her father for a long time.
One year later, on a cold winter’s day, Yema unexpectedly saw her father. She was outside playing with her friends when she noticed a one-legged man staring at her from across the street. Yema was horrified to discover that the one-legged man holding the crutches was her father. Her heart began to pound and she ran to the safety of her house. When Yema arrived home, Moon was hurrying to go out on her errands and she ordered Yema to come with her. Yema could not tell her mom that she had seen her father and that he was now a cripple, so she refused to go out. But Moon grabbed Yema’s hand and forced her to come with her. Yema tried to hide her face by veiling herself with Moon’s long skirt. However, Yema could see that her father still stood behind an electric pole. As Moon had poor eyesight, she did not notice Mr. Kim watching them. Yema did not want to tell her mom about his missing leg, because she was still numb with shock and also with shame. In addition to suddenly having to come to grips with her father’s disability, Yema was sure that, if her friends discovered this fact about her father, they would tease her mercilessly. For two days, Yema worried that her father might reappear, but she saw no sign of him on the street.

Professional Reviews

Cathryn Jung's life story is a good one, I couldn't put the book down once I started it. Well written, her story describes the poverty and hardships she had to overcome starting in her birth country of Korea, then eventually to a present day working woman in America. She has had more obsticles to overcome than most, but she perserviered and was able to follow her dream of being an American citizen. She is definitely one strong and courageous woman. I highly recommend this book to everyone who would like to learn about another culture, life and love.

When I first started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. Then I didn't want to finish reading it too soon because I felt like I was on a journey with the author and I didn't want the journey to end.

As a Chinese American, I can very well relate to the author's struggles between two different cultures and the obstacles she encountered while finding her place in between. I admire her courage to break away from a past marred by pain and suffering and to look for a new identity in a new world.

I would recommend this book to those who wish their lives to be different from what they are right now. The author makes it clear, by telling her true life story, that you can change your life and it is never too late to do so. I hope this book will bring many including women in abusive relationships courage and hope!

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