If I had your face
by Frances Cha
Kyuri is a heartbreakingly beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a 'room salon,' an exclusive bar where she entertains businessmen while they drink. Though she prides herself on her cold, clear-eyed approach to life, an impulsive mistake with a client may come to threaten her livelihood.
Her roommate, Miho, is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York. Returning to Korea after college, she finds herself in a precarious relationship with the super-wealthy heir to one of Korea's biggest companies.
Down the hall in their apartment building lives Ara, a hair stylist for whom two preoccupations sustain her: obsession with a boy-band pop star, and a best friend who is saving up for the extreme plastic surgery that is commonplace.
And Wonna, one floor below, is a newlywed trying to get pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they can afford to raise and educate in the cutthroat economy.
Together, their stories tell a gripping tale that's seemingly unfamiliar, yet unmistakably universal in the way that their tentative friendships may have to be their saving grace.
From Hannah: This was a really enjoyable novel about daily life in South Korea. It highlights the pressure on young women as they navigate a patriarchal society that is obsessed with beauty – but has a riveting and hopeful story to share as well. A refreshing, informative read if you like modern fiction and want a different cultural perspective!
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