Having failed to make much headway with Park Kyung-ni’s T’oji / Land, I thought I might give her Curse of Kim’s Daughters a try, in preparation for a re-watch of Yu Hyun-mok’s film adaptation of the novel. I didn’t particularly enjoy the movie the first time I saw it. But then, so far I haven’t really enjoyed any of his films, and thought that maybe I’d enjoy Kim’s Daughters more if I read the novel first.
Well, I’ll never find out.
While T’oji moved too slowly, Kim’s Daughters is moving far too quickly. That’s in part because in the first chapter it’s setting out a lot of backstory of the previous generations before getting stuck into the story of the the current generation. But both novels share the (for me) shortcoming that there are far too many characters to get your arms round, so many that you don’t really care about any of them. And there’s also rather too much Korean equivalent of “sun glinting on olives” – in Park Kyung-ni’s case it’s magpies perching in zelkova trees and apricot and cherry blossoms fading.
I have ground to a halt 60 pages in to the 300-page novel, and will not bother picking it up again.
I’ll still re-watch the movie though, because since I saw it the first time I’ve been to Tongyeong and it’ll be nice to see some of that scenery again.