The Loved Ones

The Loved Ones In this masterful novel of inheritance and loss Sonya Chung Long for This World proves herself a worthy heir to Marguerite Duras Hwang Sun won and James Salter Spanning generations and divergent cu

  • Title: The Loved Ones
  • Author: Sonya Chung
  • ISBN: 9780984764846
  • Page: 196
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this masterful novel of inheritance and loss, Sonya Chung Long for This World proves herself a worthy heir to Marguerite Duras, Hwang Sun won, and James Salter Spanning generations and divergent cultures, The Loved Ones maps the intimate politics of unlikely attractions, illicit love, and costly reconciliations.Charles Lee, the young African American patriarch of a bIn this masterful novel of inheritance and loss, Sonya Chung Long for This World proves herself a worthy heir to Marguerite Duras, Hwang Sun won, and James Salter Spanning generations and divergent cultures, The Loved Ones maps the intimate politics of unlikely attractions, illicit love, and costly reconciliations.Charles Lee, the young African American patriarch of a biracial family, seeks to remedy his fatherless childhood in Washington, DC, by making an honorable choice when his chance arrives Years later in the mid 1980s, uneasy and stymied in his marriage to Alice, he finds a connection with Hannah Lee, the teenage Korean American caregiver whose parents transgressive flight from tradition and war has left them shrouded in a cloud of secrets and muted passion.A shocking and senseless death will test every familial bond and force all who are touched by the tragedy to reexamine who their loved ones truly are the very meaning of the words Haunting, elliptical, and powerful, The Loved Ones deconstructs the world we think we know and shows us the one we inhabit.

    One thought on “The Loved Ones”

    1. In these truly dark and despairing post-election days, thank god for books, for both the distraction and for the power of story to illuminate our humanity. The Loved Ones is just such a book. Quiet, filled with ache and the subtle calibrations of emotion in a single moment, heartbreaking, with points of connection to sew the heart back up. It's the story of thirteen-year-old Korean-American Hannah Lee who babysits for the two children of Charles and Alice Lee, a biracial couple in Washington D.C [...]

    2. One confusing element of this book is that the two main characters have the same last name but are not related. Charles Lee is a father in a family with two children who hires Hannah Lee, a teen swimming star, to babysit the children. Other than that there is little that is confusing, but quite a few surprising elements that make the novel a treat to read.A tragedy occurs and the story goes from there. Except it doesn't! This is when the novel shifts and goes somewhere else that I wasn't expecti [...]

    3. Just so we're clear, this is a grown man and a minor child who develop some kind of spiritual connection, right? He takes care of her when she starts her period away from home, keeping some elements of this interaction secret from other adults involved in her care? And then this grown man sits outside the minor child's house and watches for her? And then writes her letters that go unanswered into her young adulthood, after using false pretenses to track down her whereabouts?File under: lovely wr [...]

    4. Originally posted on my blog: bongbongbooks.wordpressHow far will you go for your loved ones? How far will you go to protect them, to show that you care for them and to save them? These questions became the focal points of Sonya Chung’s The Loved Ones.The Loved Ones is a multi-generational saga that follows the story of two families. There’s Charles Lee, an African-American soldier who was once stationed in Korea where he met his now wife, Alice. Alice was previously a Peace Corps Volunteer [...]

    5. Finishing this book became a chore. I enjoyed the flashbacks of the disgraced Korean family returning to their home country, as well as the story of the interracial American couple first coming together in Korea. Some of the writing is really fantastic as well.But I felt no connection to the bland character of Hannah; I hated the treatment of a disgusting relationship between a grown man and a 13-year-old girl (and this is coming from someone whose favorite book is Lolita!), and most of all, I c [...]

    6. I had the great luck of reading an advanced copy of this beautiful new novel by Sonya Chung. It is haunting and honest and successfully ambitious both thematically and structurally. The writing itself is gorgeous, there were too many sentences and paragraphs I reread simply to savor. Since finishing, the characters have crept into my dreams and it is a book I will return to again. Pulled in from the first page and sad to reach the last

    7. This is a beautifully written story of a teenage Korean girl and her journey into womanhood. She gets a job as a babysitter for 2 children with mixed race parents and she becomes fixated on the husband. Tragedy strikes and her strict parents sent away to school. Years pass before she takes her future into her own hands and finally lives the life she wants. Strange but haunting story. I recommend it.

    8. I didn’t really care for this book. I finished it because I felt compelled to, but it wasn’t for me. Her writing is beautiful and while I loved the story of Hannah’s parents, I really didn’t care for the main storyline. It was romanticizing something that I didn’t find romantic or compelling. I also felt at times the writer, although writing about an African American family was a bit too confident in her knowledge of black life. “ “Ain’t y’all freezing?” Charles asked. It was [...]

    9. I enjoyed reading this book, but it has some problems. First of all the composition of the book can get very confusing. There are two different families named Lee (each having a different connection to Korea), at many different times (forward flashes and back flashes). It i s difficult to keep it all strait.The second problem was that people change over the year, but what spurred the changes is not immediately clear. Other life choices were a little too far fetched.

    10. Sonya Chung has a mesmerizing way with words. This almost felt like interwoven character studies that could each stand alone. I highlighted many sentences that resonated with me. I could not bring myself to rate this book 5 stars simply because the relationship between Charles and Hannah when the story starts was unsettling. But I will check into the author's other novel.

    11. precisionDespressing at times with its precision, until finally a sentence, sometimes a paragraph makes you pause, re-read and forget the dryness that preceded it. Elaborate plot, perhaps a little too elaborate, happy ending though if such a thing exists.

    12. Disappointed. I had high hopes, but 2/3 of the story is the babysitter falling in love with the father. So much else to explore with these interesting characters. Not bad writing, but underwhelming.

    13. I'm not sure I'm the most objective judge of this book since Sonya's a friend and colleague and I was an early reader. But I was really moved by how my feelings for the characters deepened and ripened through the course of the novel—which was of course one of its major points, but that progression was done so skillfully, in a way that brought the reader in to a certain kind of complicity without being manipulative. The book has a wonderfully quirky rhythm that, once you fall into it, pulls you [...]

    14. I like this book. It is a complicated story of two families that covers trauma, racism, culture, etc in a complicated story of the intermingling of each character's voices. One gets a better sense of some than others but as a whole, it is moving portrait of how we know and don't know each other.

    15. The Loved Ones tells the story of two American families whose paths intertwine by chance and stay connected due to the pivotal and tragic accident of one summer moment. The reverberations of tragedy- responsibility, guilt, and atonement, echo throughout their lives. In currents of prose elegiac and lyrical Chung draws on a kaleidoscope of global locations necessary to illuminate deep traditions and entrenched ways of life. The central characters must wrench themselves free to move forward and su [...]

    16. I hate to give a low rating compared to all the other glowing reviews, but I just didn't like it that much. I don't really have a valid reason why, either--it just didn't work for me. Like going on a first date with someone who seems to look good on paper and there's nothing really wrong with them, but you just ain't feelin' it. It was very well-written and I had no issues with the writing style, except the lack of question marks after questions drove me crazy. But I just didn't care about the c [...]

    17. The truth was: it wasn’t bad luck. It was good luck. I felt, at times, that the writing put distance between me and the characters (perhaps on purpose?); some parts felt rushed, other - overwritten. But, my gosh, the two lead characters, Hannah and Charles! I don’t think I’ll forget them any time soon.

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