July 2011 Indie Next List
“In South Korea in 1960, Soo-Ja Choi is a beautiful young woman from a well-to-do family. As the country is struggling to recover from a divisive war and tries to enter the modern world, Soo-Ja is exploring her options as a young adult. When her father does not allow her to accept a position studying to be a diplomat, he destroys her dreams. Over the next 15 years, she struggles with her life decisions, her new family, and a love she gave up before she understood the permanence of choice. A compulsive read, the novel is based on the life of Park's mother.”
— Terry Gilman, Mysterious Galaxy Books, San Diego, CA
In this compelling love story set in postwar Korea in the 1960s, an unhappily married woman struggles to give her daughter a good life and to find love in a society caught between ancient tradition and change. On the eve of her marriage, beautiful and strong-willed Soo-Ja Choi receives a passionate proposal from a young medical student. But caught up in her desire to pursue a career in Seoul, she turns him away, having impetuously chosen another man who she believes will let her fulfill her dreams. Instead, she finds herself tightly bound by tradition and trapped in a suffocating marriage, her ambition reduced to carving out a successful future for her only daughter. Through it all, she longs for the man she truly loves, whose path she seems destined to cross again and again. In This Burns My Heart, Samuel Parks has crafted a transcendent love story that vibrantly captures 1960s South Korea and brings to life an unforgettable heroine.
About the Author
Korean-American author Samuel Park was born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil until the age of fourteen. His novel "This Burns My Heart" was chosen as a Best Book of 2011 by Amazon, "Kirkus Reviews," and "BookPage." It was named one of NPR s Freshest Reads and "Today" s Favorite Things, and has been translated into four languages. He is an assistant professor of English at Columbia College and lives in Chicago. Visit Samuel Park at SamuelPark.com."