To me, there’s nothing harder than live up to the expectation. And The Good Son: A Novel (2018) does that.
I’ve read the book after watching Parasite – which I liked a lot! And the other experience that I had with anything produced in/by a South Korean was Snowpiercer (the movie, not the Netflix show) that I also loved. So, when I discovered that You-Jeong Jeong was from South Korea, my expectation skyrocketed. And fortunately, the book is even better than I anticipated.
The moral question at the end is what makes this book so good. After reading the last phrase, the reader begins to feel a bitter taste in the mouth. And it’s a sensation that stays with you. You are trying to decide if Yu-jin is a victim or a criminal. The same question applies to Yu-jin’s mom and aunt. Even after months of reflection, I don’t have an answer. And I believe that that’s the best part of The Good Son: A Novel, how it doesn’t end. It just stays on your mind. You keep pondering and changing sides. It’s excruciating but wonderful.
I liked this book a lot.
You-Jeong Jeong wrote the novel in a formidable way. It’s incredible how the story changes directions all the time. There are many plot twists throughout the book. And all of them add another layer to the characters. That’s what makes it hard to know who is the villain and who is the hero. In the end, they are both. In the end, they are only humans.
The Good Son is a book that explores flaws. That explores a sick society, how we try to hide what makes us look bad, and how problematic this is. The Good Son is a book about humanity, with humans characters and humans solutions. The Good Son: A Novel is one of the best things I read in a long time. And I hope that the expectation doesn’t spoil your experience.
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