Lemon: A Novel
New York Times Book Review: Editor’s Choice
Philadelphia Inquirer: Best Book of the Month
World Literature Today: Notable Translation of the Year
CrimeReads: Best International Crime Novel of the Year
Ms. Magazine: Most Anticipated Book of the Year
Washington Independent Review of Books: Favorite Book of the Year
Parasite meets The Good Son in this piercing psychological portrait of three women haunted by a brutal, unsolved crime.
In the summer of 2002, when Korea is abuzz over hosting the FIFA World Cup, eighteen-year-old Kim Hae-on is killed in what becomes known as the High School Beauty Murder. Two suspects quickly emerge: rich kid Shin Jeongjun, whose car Hae-on was last seen in, and delivery boy Han Manu, who witnessed her there just a few hours before her death. But when Jeongjun’s alibi checks out, and no evidence can be pinned on Manu, the case goes cold.
Seventeen years pass without any resolution for those close to Hae-on, and the grief and uncertainty take a cruel toll on her younger sister, Da-on, in particular. Unable to move on with her life, Da-on tries in her own twisted way to recover some of what she’s lost, ultimately setting out to find the truth of what happened.
Shifting between the perspectives of Da-on and two of Hae-on’s classmates struck in different ways by her otherworldly beauty, Lemon ostensibly takes the shape of a crime novel. But identifying the perpetrator is not the main objective here: Kwon Yeo-sun uses this well-worn form to craft a searing, timely exploration of privilege, jealousy, trauma, and how we live with the wrongs we have endured and inflicted in turn.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - kayanelson - LibraryThing
Wow, a small book that packs a big punch. The main plot is that a girl’s sister is murdered and no one is convicted of the crime. The slow revealing of what might have happened is fascinating. I know ... Read full review
LemonUser Review - Publishers Weekly
South Korean author Kwon’s powerful English-language debut explores issues of jealousy, loss, and physical beauty. Long after the event, “short and dumpy” Kim Da-on remains obsessed with the 2002 ... Read full review