Joanna Catherine Scott

A Korean woman gives up her children for adoption

Inspired by the true story of my Korean children’s birth mother

“Scott can really write. Her sentences are lean and move with authority.”

The New York Times Book Review

 “Exquisitely written . . . A brutal tale becomes beautiful and moving through Scott’s poetic language and eye for detail . . . Spare and elegant.”

Christian Science Monitor

“Beautiful . . . Scott writes simply and lyrically and creates a convincing world in which poverty tries hard to kill love and often, but not always, succeeds.” — San Francisco Chronicle

“A riveting, compelling, and disturbing novel . . . Scott’s descriptive talent is enormous.”

Library Journal

“Scott’s descriptions are right on target and never overstated . . . a moving story that leaves lasting impressions.” —Korean Quarterly

Scott’s knowledge of Korea is evident; the detail is both convincing and delicious to read.

The Lucky Gourd Shop describes rough lives but is gently written; the language, simple and lyrical,

is as engaging as the story itself. It's wonderful to find a book that makes you want to find out what's next,

to turn the pages until there are no more. This is one such story.

—The Asian Review of Books

                “An engrossing tale.” —Publishers Weekly               

“Heartfelt . . . fascinating.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Captivating and enchanting . . . Rarely do I come across a book that I become so enraptured by from its very first page . . . a masterfully written, poignant tale.”

Adoption TODAY Magazine

“A fresh and compelling author.” —BookPage 

“A moving novel . . . an excellent read.” —BookList

“Beautifully woven prose . . . Scott paints an astoundingly accurate picture of Confucian love, marriage, and family . . . history and culture brought to life with literary genius.”

Mona Rim’s Public Reviews

“This gripping tale takes hold like a long forgotten, but often told, family fable.” —ForeWord

“A powerful combination of sorrow and compassion.” —Reader’s Edge

“A sensually striking and emotionally reserved narrative of post-war South Korea.”

Baltimore Magazine

“Scott has shaped an old-fashioned love story involving mother and children that will ring through your heart for many moons after you close the last page.” —Bookreporter

“. . . ensnares the reader in a net that is difficult to break away from.” —Potomac Review

“A tragic, heartbreaking tale.” —aOnline

A highly textured tale of social roles and changing norms, individual psychologies, and the influence of Americans. The poverty of Korea in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as its traditional riches of spicy foods and beautifully crafted ornaments, are brought to life vividly.

Kliatt Book Reviews

Book Sense Top Ten Titles Choice

Book Sense 76 Choice


Nominee for Book Sense Book-of-the-Year