The Vegetarian by Han Kang – Review

I read this book while on my recent holiday to Cuba and put it this way, it’s not your typical holiday read! It was one of those books where I had to take a day or so after to take it all in before I could commit to something else.

The book, set in South Korea is based around Yeong-Hye, who is described by her husband as ‘unremarkable in every way’ and her decision to give up meat after a serious of chilling, graphic dreams. What you would thing would be a simple decision but it is the catalyst for a chain of chilling events.

The book is split into 3 parts, and despite Yeong-Hye and her journey being the main focus of the novel, none of the sections are written from her perspective. The first section is from the perspective of her husband, second from her brother in law and the final from her sister. I think this gave the book perspective and allowed the tone and narrative to change as Yeong-Hye does. I also wonder if It speaks to the culture of women being silenced in Korea that the main character was never given a true voice.

The story is chilling, tense and at times even violent. It touches on themes of eating disorders, family dynamics and mental health.

The language and writing was exquisite, although an uncomfortable book to read I would highly recommend it. I haven’t felt so much after reading a novel in a long time.

Is there any books you would like me to read and review please let me know!

Until next time


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