“If we surrendered to earth’s intelligence we could rise up rooted, like trees.” —Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God

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Let me start off by saying… THIS WAS NOT WHAT I THOUGHT IT WAS GOING TO BE…. AT ALL!!! But i also when into this book completely blind! Every time i picked this book up, i wasnt sure how i felt until it was over… and at that point i couldnt take it back. Now everyone knows how i feel about romance novels and even though i see this as one, it isnt like most romance novels.

Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more ‘plant-like’ existence, decides to become a vegetarian, prompted by grotesque recurring nightmares. In South Korea, where vegetarianism is almost unheard-of and societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye’s decision is a shocking act of subversion. Her passive rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, leading her bland husband to self-justified acts of sexual sadism. His cruelties drive her towards attempted suicide and hospitalisation. She unknowingly captivates her sister’s husband, a video artist. She becomes the focus of his increasingly erotic and unhinged artworks, while spiralling further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming – impossibly, ecstatically – a tree. Fraught, disturbing and beautiful, The Vegetarian is a novel about modern day South Korea, but also a novel about shame, desire and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.

This is a three part book told from different points of view, one part for each of the main characters of whose life was touched the most by the main character. It is a very dark tyoe of book and there are somethings i read that im sure i will never be able to un-read…. I also thought the book was laid out in an odd way… i start to understand the writers train of thought when… WHAM!!! im am lost and confused yet again… As a whole i was fairly disappointed and confused most of this book but it might just be that after a while i was tired of being confused and just… read it to read it….

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