MixedThe Asian Review of BooksTrauma is the unspoken lynchpin on which this slim novel turns, but the interest lies in how different characters cope ... Accomplished translator Chi Young Kim is behind the book’s English edition, but not even her skills could overcome the fact that this is, fundamentally, a Korean book. The painful history it recounts, the values it depends on, the criticisms it makes are all endemically situated. It feels like something is lost in translation ... And although the themes are weighty and the historical context harrowing, Alice’s actions are highly improbable and the plot needlessly convoluted, not helped by the author’s choice to make the timeline an emotional rather than a linear one. Monroe’s portrayal is also rather disappointing: part-bimbo, part-wounded soul, all stereotype, she mostly acts as a symbol of American cultural solipsism, as well as the bustling foreground for Alice’s internal and external journey. The thinly-veiled racism by American characters towards Koreans is mostly unexplored, as is the internalized racism in Alice towards a Marilyn she is both disdainful towards and envious of ... a readable thriller-romance novel.