** 1/2 Re Jane by Patricia Park


Re Jane is the delightful story of a Korean-American young woman who, having had no luck getting a corporate job after college, escapes her uncle’s harsh treatment by becoming a live-in nanny to a family of intellectuals whose mores are quite different from the world she comes from. After she gets involved with the henpecked husband, she flees to Korea to bury her grandfather as much as escape the mess she has created, but she will eventually return to New York and untangle her problems.

I found the voice of the heroine pretty much perfect in the first two parts, in New York and in Korea, with her surprised observations carried on inside her head, always. When she returns to New York, I thought the voice was lost, with the narrative occasionally dipping into realtor-speak, or unlikely psycho-babble. But I recommend the story for its complicated and plucky heroine.

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