31 December, 2010

Ten Thousand Sorrows

This will be my final review for 2010! Wow. I've had a great year blogging about my reading and have enjoyed the chance to share my thoughts with others. Finding other book blogs has been an absolute revelation and has enhanced my choice of books so much. Thank you for visiting my blog in 2010. I'm looking at changing a few things in 2011 and hope you are willing to continue to ride along with me!

Ten Thousand Sorrows by Elizabeth Kim

I borrowed this from the library on a client recommendation. She said it would touch my heart and it did.

At a young age, Elizabeth hid in a basket and watched as her grandfather and uncle hung her Korean mother. Her crime?
Sleeping with an American soldier and having a mixed race baby. Considered worthless, she was abandoned at a Christian orphanage where the staff were told "she has no name,...I don't know her birth date or how old she is. She's nobody."
She was confined to a small cage like crib and given no comfort at all. Eventually she was adopted by an American couple who were evangelical Christians . On her second day in their house she woke from her nap and was violently ill on the sofa, vomiting worms all over the cushions. She was shouted at for it and called an animal. For years afterwards Elizabeth's mum would recount the event to anyone who would listen saying she couldn't understand why she chose the sofa to be ill on rather than going to the bathroom. She also stated when they first got Elizabeth she was "just like an animal." And this is the environment Elizabeth grew up in.

Ten Thousand Sorrows recounts Elizabeth's life. Her abusive marriage and her search for something to hold onto in this world. Constantly told she was ugly and worthless, she believed this to be true and could never understand how someone would think differently. Anyone who said she pretty and nice obviously was lying or had a hidden agenda. While the birth of her daughter gave her the impetus to leave the marriage and gave her a reason to live, it took a long time for her to come to a place where she liked herself and felt worthy of that love.

Ten Thousand Sorrows is powerful, but easy to read. Elizabeth Kim tells her story simply as a matter of fact. Her journey shows incredible courage and the power of forgiveness.