4 out of 4 stars
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I have to rate The Vanished by Pejay Bradley 4 out of 4 stars. The reasons being the book's brilliant arrangement, errorless narration, and outstanding presentation. I never expected that I would enjoy this book when I picked it. However, it proved me wrong. I loved every page of every chapter. It is a historical fiction story about the Japanese annexation of Korea in the early 1900s. The guerrilla efforts to regain Korea's sovereignty and Japan's tactics to control the Korean population caused so much bloodshed. Therefore, readers should be aware, especially if gruesome scenes and death are upsetting to them.
The Vanished by Pejay Bradley delves into Korea's culture in the middle of political uncertainty caused by its annexation to Japan. The author meticulously built the characters to match their roles perfectly. I was moved to the core by the characters' frustration and loneliness resulting from the cultural principles, particularly the women. While reading this book, I realized that the strict rules of matchmaking and women's precarious position in Korean patriarchal society mirror what is currently happening in Africa. A housewife in Korean society is like a housemaid only with her husband's last name, as is in most African cultures.
The story's protagonist is Lady Sougyon, daughter of Prince Aansoon. At a very young age, she got married to a stranger picked by her father, as was the custom. The only good thing about the marriage was her handsome, intelligent son, Embon. As an estranged wife, she tried everything in her power to make a man out of her child. The question is, will the lazy, entitled son realize his purpose in life?
The author made the story so real, like she was in the middle of all that was happening. This book has nothing to dislike as its fantastic cover, structure, and the author's gentle writing style made it look great and fun to read. The author seems to have engaged professional editors to avoid any mistakes, for I found none. I recommend this book to fans of historical fiction focused on culture and struggles for independence.
The cliffhanger ending is superb. I believe the author has something in store for her readers. Embon, grief-stricken, weak, and in need to prove himself worthy and better than his drunk, good-for-nothing father, is the character any reader would wish to meet again. The Vanished by Pejay Bradley is the best book of its kind, and I will be the first in line if the author debuts Part 2.
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