A bittersweet coming-of-age debut novel set in the Korean community in Toronto in the 1980s.
This haunting coming-of-age story, told through the eyes of a rebellious young girl, vividly captures the struggles of families caught between two cultures in the 1980s. Family secrets, a lost sister, forbidden loves, domestic assaults—Mary discovers as she grows up that life is much more complicated than she had ever imagined. Her secret passion for her English teacher is filled with problems and with the arrival of a promising Korean suitor, Joon-Ho, events escalate in ways that she could never have imagined, catching the entire family in a web of deceit and violence.
A unique and imaginative debut novel, Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety evocatively portrays the life of a young Korean Canadian girl who will not give up on her dreams or her family.
“Ann Y.K. Choi deftly negotiates the tightrope between a teenager’s dreams in the new world and the expectations of her immigrant parents. . . . Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety invites the reader into the intimate life of Mary—or Yu-Rhee, her given Korean name—and explores the perennial questions of the meaning of identity and home.”
“Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety flings open a window onto an entire world largely unknown to non-Koreans. . . . An explosive and heartfelt debut.”