After the death of their mother, U-mi and her little brother, U-il, are shuttled between relatives until their father retrieves them. He puts the children in the care of a young stepmother, fresh from a brothel, who looks after them during the week while he works at a remote building site.
But the stepmother is soon driven away by the father’s violent possessiveness. Depressed, the father no longer returns for his weekend visits, and the children are left to fend for themselves.
U-mi attempts to care for U-il, with help from neighbours, but her despair leads her to mimic her father’s behaviour, abusing the one person closest to her …
A beautifully written, deeply affecting story of a shattered childhood.