From the author of The Calligrapher’s Daughter comes the riveting story of two sisters, one raised in the United States, the other in South Korea, and the family that bound them together even as the Korean War kept them apart.
In 1948 Najin and Calvin Cho, with their young daughter Miran, travel from South Korea to the United States in search of new opportunities. Wary of the challenges they know will face them, Najin and Calvin make the difficult decision to leave their infant daughter, Inja, behind with their extended family; soon, they hope, they will return to her.
But then war breaks out in Korea, and there is no end in sight to the separation. Miran grows up in prosperous American suburbia, under the shadow of the daughter left behind, as Inja grapples in her war-torn land with ties to a family she doesn’t remember. Najin and Calvin desperately seek a reunion with Inja, but are the bonds of love strong enough to reconnect their family over distance, time, and war? And as deep family secrets are revealed, will everything they long for be upended?
Told through the alternating perspectives of the distanced sisters, and inspired by a true story, The Kinship of Secrets explores the cruelty of war, the power of hope, and what it means to be a sister.
About the Author
Included in the Publishers Lunch "Publishing Preview"—Fiction, Emerging Voices
One of Southern Living's "Fall 2018 Book Releases We're Excited to Read"
One of BookRiot's "Spectacular New Books You Need to Read This Fall"
One of BookBub's "Biggest Book Club Books of the Fall"
"A graceful, poignant, and moving portrayal of one family’s struggle to remain a family through decades of war, migration, and separation."
—Viet Thanh Nguyen, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer
“Eugenia Kim’s The Kinship of Secrets is a beautiful allegory of loss and recovery. Through the parallel growth of two separated sisters, Kim bears witness to the fall and rise of a nation and its resilient and generous people. The Kinship of Secrets is a gorgeous achievement.”
—Min Jin Lee, author of Pachinko and Free Food for Millionaires
“Beautifully illuminate[s] Korea’s past in ways that inform our present....Kim infuses a coming-of-age story about being an outsider with the realities of the war, which forced many family separations, some of which still persist today.”
"Heartfelt...will greatly appeal to readers who enjoy the multicultural novels of Lisa See and Amy Tan, stories that enlighten as well as entertain."
—Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“Finely wrought…A stirring novel about family and the sacrifices made to keep it whole.”
“Elegant…a valuable window into Korean history as well as to issues like immigration and assimilation that couldn’t be more relevant today.”
"Kim is a true storyteller, and her latest work is engaging throughout. Readers who enjoy family sagas by Lisa See and Jamie Ford will appreciate this one.”
"Eugenia Kim succeeds in crafting intimacy in her story and characters...The Kinship of Secrets evokes the feeling of humanity and what it means to be family."
"I felt as though I had stepped into a graceful story of two countries, South Korea and America, and family ties that survive the challenges of history.”
—Krys Lee, author of How I Became a North Korean
“What an extraordinary time to read this heartfelt novel about the bonds of family, set against the backdrop of the Korean War. Eugenia Kim is a masterful storyteller who makes her characters come to life as she spans decades, continents, and cultures.”
—Jung Yun, author of Shelter
“The Korean War has been called 'the forgotten war' in the West, but Kim’s second novel, a powerful narrative about the ways families relentlessly love and protect each other despite immense challenges, is a story that demands to be remembered, along with its history. The Kinship of Secrets is both a meditation on homesickness and a celebration of homecoming that made me appreciate the complicated bonds between sisters, between mothers and daughters, and the love for relatives that become surrogate parents. A beautiful novel, and a necessary, important story for our times.”
—Yoojin Grace Wuertz, author of Everything Belongs to Us
“A gripping story of war and immigration, as well as a tender meditation on what it means to be of a family and of a country.”
—Marie Myung-Ok Lee, author of Somebody’s Daughter
"Two sisters separated by a war and an ocean are at the center of this new novel by Eugenia Kim. In it, one daughter is left behind in South Korea while her family takes her sister to the United States in hopes of building a new life."—Southern Living, "Fall 2018 Book Releases We're Excited to Read"