Pachinko is an utterly absorbing book from its onset. It encompasses the years 1910 to 1989, and is the saga of a Korean family that begins with Hoonie, a kind, caring man with a cleft palate and a twisted foot that marked him as different in his poor community. His arranged marriage to Yangjin was happy, and eventually produced one daughter, Sunja, after the heartbreak of numerous miscarriages. This book follows the life of Sunja after she is seduced and becomes pregnant by a married older man, and then goes on to marry a minister who treats her and her son with compassion and caring. They have a son, Mozasu, before the minister's cruel death for his beliefs at the hands of the Japanese. Sunja's descendants are followed for four generations as they navigate the difficulties of being ostracized by the Japanese and their attempts at assimilation. The history of the conflict between Korea and Japan is very compelling when viewed from the perspective of the ongoing effects on the family and their relationships. Min Jin Lee writes with a depth of understanding and respect for the characters in this novel that makes them memorable.