Sunja is the beloved only child of her parents, who live in a fishing village in South Korea. Koh Hansu is a ruthless gangster with strong ties to the Japanese occupation. They meet, have a short affair, and conceive a child together - changing the paths of their lives and their descendants forever. After Hansu refuses to marry her, Sunja decides to begin a new life in Japan. Lee's beautiful novel recontextualizes almost 70 years of the past century, from the brutality of WWII to Japan's 1990s economic boom, through the bittersweet ups and downs of one family. Once you pick up Pachinko (a National Book Award finalist), you'll hate to put it down - it's full of unflinching historical reckoning and tender-hearted, stoic characters that demand your attention.