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Publisher's Summary

"A spectacular debut filled with great characters and heart.” (Lisa See, author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan)

A Recommended Read from: USA Today * The Washington Post * Entertainment Weekly * The Today Show * Real Simple * Good Morning America * Harper's Bazaar * Buzzfeed * Fortune * Vulture * Goodreads * Lit Hub * Book Riot * PopSugar * E! Online * Ms. Magazine * Chicago Review of Books * Bustle * The Oregonian * The Millions

An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement, following the intertwined fates of a young girl sold to a courtesan school and the penniless son of a hunter

In 1917, deep in the snowy mountains of occupied Korea, an impoverished local hunter on the brink of starvation saves a young Japanese officer from an attacking tiger. In an instant, their fates are connected — and from this encounter unfolds a saga that spans half a century.

In the aftermath, a young girl named Jade is sold by her family to Miss Silver’s courtesan school, an act of desperation that will cement her place in the lowest social status. When she befriends an orphan boy named JungHo, who scrapes together a living begging on the streets of Seoul, they form a deep friendship. As they come of age, JungHo is swept up in the revolutionary fight for independence, and Jade becomes a sought-after performer with a new romantic prospect of noble birth. Soon Jade must decide whether she will risk everything for the one who would do the same for her.

From the perfumed chambers of a courtesan school in Pyongyang to the glamorous cafes of a modernizing Seoul and the boreal forests of Manchuria, where battles rage, Juhea Kim’s unforgettable characters forge their own destinies as they wager their nation’s. Immersive and elegant, Beasts of a Little Land unveils a world where friends become enemies, enemies become saviors, heroes are persecuted, and beasts take many shapes.

©2021 Juhea Kim (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Beasts of a Little Land

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

PDF support needed

I'm not done yet with this title, & it's holding my interest. However, I have a major complaint with the narration. With any story with a large number of characters, you have to pay attention. But for those of us who don't speak Korean & are unfamiliar with the phonetic conventions of the language, it's especially hard. With what I assume is painstaking accuracy of name pronunciations, some names sound similar to each other. A list of characters in PDF may have helped. I've had to go back frequently to clarify the identity of some characters. So I can't recommend this title for audio.

10 people found this helpful

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Awakened me the love of a genre

This was for a book club, and I’m usually the only one in the group who does audio books. The acting here was great, and really distinguished the characters for me. It also powerfully conveyed the scene and emotions.

This book showed me a new genre I love - following characters over many years to see their triumphs and losses - and introduced me to a beautiful and sordid history of parts of the world I knew nothing about. I will treasure these characters and life lessons forever!

6 people found this helpful

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Didn’t keep my interest

I tried to like this book, but I just got bored with it. I got tired of everything having sexual overtones and the story just didn’t engage me. It’s too bad because I was looking forward to learning more about the Korean Conflict.

2 people found this helpful

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Good Story, Fantastic Narration.

It was hard not to draw comparisons between this novel and Memoirs of a Geisha. I thoroughly enjoyed the Narration, each character was distinct and it was easy to follow who was speaking. The story was good but not altogether original. I did enjoy the ending Jade received and was satisfied with each characters turn of events. I would recommend this to friends.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful book

This is a very well-written and well-performed story. I couldn’t stop listening - I was so intrigued by Jade and her story as it was interwoven with others. I learned a lot I did not know about the history of Korea and it’s people. This is an excellent book!

1 person found this helpful

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great picture of the times

i lived in korea for 3 years. learmed more about the history and culture of that time.

1 person found this helpful

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A Triumph

Brilliantly crafted. Wrought with emotion. An impressive debut by Juhea Kim. I'll look for more by this talented writer. Excellent narration by Sue Jean Kim and Raymond Lee, who had a short entry.

1 person found this helpful

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Pleasantly surprised

I’m a fan of historical fiction and this book was a wonderful education into Korea before and after World War II. The characters were engaging and so interesting, I was totally drawn into this incredible story. I highly recommend this book.

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Incredible

I want to thank the author for writing the most memorable epic. I can honestly say that Beasts of a Little Land is truly an edifying literature that changes and challenges the common understanding about life, history, and animals. It’s an incredible experience.

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Epic Saga

Beautifully woven stories told across a lifetime. Finished this in two days because I loved immersing myself in this book.