Newly immigrated to Canada from Korea, Mary and her family live above the Toronto convenience store that they own and run. Struggling to find her identity in this new country, Mary finds herself at odds with the traditional views of her mother and the pressures placed upon her.
I absolutely loved this book. Like hit-me-in-the-gut-and-tugged-at-my-heartstrings loved it. Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety felt so relevant for this generation, regardless of one’s background. While I was born in Canada, my family wasn’t and being a first generation Canadian, I found much of this story relatable. The modern-day challenges of not only navigating the landscape between the Eastern and Western cultures, but also family obligations and expectations.
There may be many stories out there about the immigration experience, but so often those are from decades ago. The contemporary setting, right in the heart of a downtown Toronto neighbourhood, allows readers to step right into the world that Choi created for Mary. (And I love stories set in the city!) The relationships between all the characters felt so tangible that I found myself sucked into all of it. This was a compelling coming of age novel to read, witnessing Mary’s development as she discovers for herself what she wants her life to be like. Her emotional growth in this book is evidenced from seeing her interactions with the people around her and while I can’t say I was thrilled with the outcome of some of those relationships, I respect those choices. (Hey, like I said, I got emotionally invested in this!).
It’s not quite halfway into 2016 yet, but already Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety is up there on my faves for the year so far. Perhaps it’s because I can relate to the Asian-Canadian upbringing in some ways, and I feel that these sentiments can be echoed across many other cultures, but I can’t remember the last time a story like this had crossed my path. There’s always talk about more diversity in books, and this one not only allows minorities to feel represented but it can also enlighten others to a different culture. I cannot recommend this book enough – absolutely loved it.
So now that I’ve raved about this book for the last few paragraphs, Simon & Schuster Canada has graciously offered me a book to give away on this blog to one lucky reader!
- Open to residents of Canada
- Contest closes May 13, 2016 at 11:59pm EST
- Winner will be randomly chosen from qualifying entries
- Book will be mailed out by Simon & Schuster