Coin for a Dream: Stories from My Early Years
Coin for a Dream is a collection of short stories that focus on the author’s early life. Growing up in Korea, she was fortunate to hear stories and fairy tales that were passed on to her from her grandparents and others. In this book, she recounts these tales and infuses them with her memories and the extraordinary events of her life.
I think what makes this work unique is the art of storytelling, which, to my mind, seems to be slipping away in our modern world. I liked the way the tales all had some deeper meaning in the author’s life and how she explained the meaning of many of the ancient beliefs in Korean culture. This was something new for me.
To say that Mrs. Adams has had an interesting life is perhaps an understatement. It might be hard for a reader today to imagine that a mother would abandon her second daughter simply because she wanted a son, but that was the author’s fate. I liked the fact that she seems to have overcome this obstacle in her life. This was probably due to the extraordinary grandmother and grandfather who raised her in their mountain home. What a heart she had to be able to provide and care for her mother later in life. The same one who had turned her away.
I felt the stories in this book got better and better as I got deeper into them. Some of my favorites were “Kung Fu Child,” where the indomitable spirit of the author shines through at an early age, and “Blame the Zodiac Signs,” where she explains not just the origins of the signs but how they affected her situation. But for me, “My Dragon Lady” might have been the most compelling story in the book. Learning about Mrs. Adams’ grandmother was fascinating, and her loyalty to her family at the end was moving.
Even though the author’s life was affected by war and political turmoil as well as what some might put down to bad luck, she was able to thrive and finally meet the prince she had dreamed of as a small child as she sat under her magic tree, better known as the ginkgo tree. Coin for a Dream gave me insights into a culture that I knew little about, and into a family that lived through some difficult times, always trying to honor their ancestors and their past.
|Page Count||254 pages|
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