Chronicles the lives of an extended wealthy family in Japanese-occupied Seoul. The old order gradually fades, the vultures descend for the pickings, while an underground of nationalists and socialists struggle to make a difference. Recommended. Available from Seoulselection. See also review in Complete Review.
A very quick footnote. The grandfather’s second wife in this book is referred to as “the Suwon woman”. I took this to be intentionally insulting (she is, after all, a nasty piece of work). However, on reading The Guest by Hwang Sok-yong I found an explanatory note (on p16) that
traditionally, women who married into the family from a different area were referred to by their place of origin rather than their given name.
I guess the original Korean is Suwon-daek.