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Monday, August 22, 2011

First Page Mondays: This Burns My Heart by author Samuel Park


As part of the First Page Mondays initiative by The Book Worm, here is the first page from the book 'This Burns My Heart' by author Samuel Park.

'Soo-Ja knew about the stranger. The one following her for the last four blocks. She kept her pace even - her instinct in situations like this was not to be scared, but to see it as a battle of wits, as if she's been handed a puzzle, or a task. She wanted to lose him, but do so elegantly, in the manner of a great escape artist. Her friend Jae-Hwa - walking next to her, her homemade knit scarf blowing in the brisk Siberian wind - hadn't noticed him, and kept on chattering about the lover in the film they'd just seen.
Was the man a secret agent from the North? Soo-Jaa asked herself. The war had ended only seven years ago so it was feasible. It didn't help that the other side didn't sit across the ocean, or on a different continent, but rather just a few hundred miles away, cordoned off by an imaginary line drawn with chalk on a map. Soo-Jaa fantasized that the man mistook her for the mistress of a high-ranking official, and wanted her to carry state secrets across the 38th parallel. Would he be disappointed, she wondered, to find out she was just a college student? Daughter of a factory owner, born in the year of the tiger?
Soo-Jaa pulled her compact out of her purse and looked into the round mirror. There he was, within the glimmering frame, in his white jacket and white pants. Western clothes. Appropriate, she thought. She could not imaging him in hanbok, or anything worn by her parents or.......'

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- Debolina Raja Gupta