Both sweepingly ambitious in scope and deeply personal, PACHINKO follows one Korean family's desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs across decades and generations-from the Japanese annexation in 1910 through the Great Depression and World War II, all the way up to the late 1980s. The chronicle begins humbly with a hardworking family: a fisherman, his wife, and their sole surviving child. Though the family endures their fair share of hardships, they mark the beginning of a long line of descendants whose adversities, passions, and joys pervade this remarkable account of Korean history. Hoonie, a saintly father born with a cleft palate and club foot, is only the beginning of a Dickensian cast of characters, exceptional men and women in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history: a young, unwed mother afraid of social disgrace; the tubercular minister who saves her; a powerful gangster who pulls strings to control his loved ones' lives from afar, and many more. Although years pass and the family evolves drastically from its modest beginnings, a strong sense of shared cultural history ties them together and gives their lives deep roots. As they experience great joy, dark yearning, and moments of triumph and despair, this hugely satisfying novel explores the enduring questions of faith, family, culture, and identity.