top of page

InstaReview: The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

"You are not being punished for your anger. You're being punished by your anger."

This sweeping novel is set on the island of Jeju in South Korea during both the Japanese and American occupations, which provided informative background history on South Korea but was heart-wrenching to read about. In fact, if we have any criticism of this book (and we have very little to be clear), it’s that the beginning is quite difficult to get through with its focus on the poverty and brutality inherent in the lives of those in Jeju. If you can get past that though, the crux of the story centers on a group of free-diving women, haenyeo (the Sea Women!), and more specifically, two women and their friendship throughout various life stages. Betrayal and forgiveness (or lack thereof) drive forward this novel. The end made us cry- and we have cold, black hearts so that says a lot! Great read for AAPI month.


bottom of page