What is a Keurium?

This is a wonderfully written book by JS Lee that packs an emotional punch, but also has moments of humor. The book describes the Korean word Keurium (그리움) as: “A longing for anything that has left a deep impression in the heart—such as a memory, person, or place.” After finishing the book, you may start to feel those deep impressions are life long scars.

Protagonist Shay Stone is a Korean adoptee in a wealthy, emotionally abusive, morally deficient, white family. Shay has a natural need to gain her adoptive mother’s approval and love, only to be continually denied both. Her adoptive father has secrets that threaten to tear apart the family and further alienate Shay from her adoptive family.

I felt sorry that Shay has neither biological or adoptive family. 그리움 is an appropriate word to describe how this reader longed for Shay to escape from the Stone’s abuse while also hoping they would magically change into a normal family. —J Kae