Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Miles from Nowhere - Nami Mun

Miles from Nowhere features a rarely seen main character - a 13-year old Korean immigrant runaway. Because of this, I think I really really wanted to like the book. In the wake of her father's infidelity and her mother's mental illness, Joon escapes from home to the unpredictable streets of 1980s New York City. She travels from a juvenile home to an escort club, through addiction to making a living any way she possibly can. Each chapter of the book is its own snapshot of a scene from Joon's life on the edge of society, hanging on any way she can. Because Joon herself is so lost, and the telling of her story reflects her transient nature, I found it hard to read this book as one single narrative. There is no one story line that holds it together, and because of this I often found my mind wandering while I read it, unsure whether I cared about this young girl. Despite the fact that she obviously needed some attention, love, and guidance, I just couldn't find myself connecting on any level. Everything about her experience is so tragic that even with Mun's at times beautiful prose, I just couldn't find much about the book to hold on to.

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