This beautiful character-driven book set in the American Midwest covers many contemporary topics like racism, fracking, sexual harassment, and the immigrant experience. I loved the messy protagonist Elinor Hanson, a Korean American who grew up in South Dakota. A former model with a new career later in life as a journalist, Elinor has baggage that needs unpacking so badly her clothes are spilling out of her metaphorical suitcase at a rapid pace. Korean American author Jung Yun has written a fantastic novel in O Beautiful that surprised me over and over, especially by book’s end.
O Beautiful by Jung Yun, (List Price: 27.99, St. Martin’s Press, 9781250274328, November 2021)
Reviewed by Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop in Athens, Georgia