The Color of Earth

The Color of Earth

Graphic Novel - 2009
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First love is never easy.

Ehwa grows up helping her widowed mother run the local tavern, watching as their customers - both neighbors and strangers - look down on her mother for her single lifestyle. Their social status isolates Ehwa and her mother from the rest of the people in their quiet country village. But as she gets older and sees her mother fall in love again, Ehwa slowly begins to open up to the possibility of love in her life.

In the tradition of My Antonia and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn , from the pen of the renowned Korean manwha creator Kim Dong Hwa, comes a trilogy about a girl coming of age, set in the vibrant, beautiful landscape of pastoral Korea.

Publisher: New York : First Second, 2009
Edition: 1st American ed
ISBN: 9781596434585
1596434589
Characteristics: 319 p. : chiefly ill. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Na, Lauren

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n
Nakkid
Jul 07, 2014

A lyrical and delicate coming-of-age manhwa. The artwork is sometimes beautifully detailed, other times it's simplicity speaks more words than are written. Overall this is a very sweet story, and it touches certain topics in a nice and realistic manner through the perspective of a growing child. I love how differing perspectives of both a grown woman (Ehwa's mother) and a young girl (Ehwa) are shown to express different points of view to the reader. Overall this is a really cute and beautiful piece of work.

c
ChocolateChips
Oct 09, 2011

Though at first I didn't go for the art style, I found this novel quite beautiful and touching with a lovely atmosphere. Unlike most manga/manhwa you find in Canadian libraries, this one is big on characters, feeling and mood rather than plot and action. For me, the continual use of rain and flowers as extended metaphors walked a weird line between boring and interesting, but the subject of a young girl trying to understand her sexuality in a culture that cloaked the topic in silence really fascinated me. It sucked really hard for girls (and boys!) who wanted to know anything about sex or puberty in the days before the internet. Whenever the girl, Ehwa, tries to get any sort of answers about her body and how it works, her peers and elders just give her all these peculiar botanical euphemisms and answers that are just ridiculously vague. She also struggles to reconcile the other villagers' cruel, bawdy jokes with her mother's heavily idealized descriptons of sex. It was really interesting for me to read about an experience of growing up female that thankfully doesn't jive with my story at all. And yes, I'll admit I'm part of the "Bad Canadian Club" who was really surprised the author was a dude. Even though the book does show the injustice of how women's sexualities were controlled and demeaned in that generation, I find it interesting that so many people use the word "feminism" with this novel--to me, feminism calls up images of women doing stuff other than mooning over guys all the time. I am interested in reading the rest of the trilogy to see how my opinon on that aspect of the work settles. All in all, pretty awesome novel for teens and adults.

quagga Sep 20, 2009

A poetic Korean coming-of-age story set in a small village and told in graphic novel format. As the season of spring rains come around each year, Ehwa grows from a girl of 7 to a young woman of 16. She lives with her widowed mother who keeps a tavern. Ehwa's heart is divided between two boys while her mother longs for a travelling salesman who comes through only occasionally. I was surprised to learn that the author is male, since the book has quite a feminist sensibility. I especially enjoyed learning about everyday Korean life as it was lived two generations ago. First in a trilogy. Adults are just as likely to enjoy this as are teens.

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r
red_cat_7101
Nov 12, 2015

red_cat_7101 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

n
Nakkid
Jul 07, 2014

Nakkid thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

c
ChocolateChips
Oct 09, 2011

ChocolateChips thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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S2Hofforth
Nov 08, 2009

The first in a series of three graphic novels about a young girl growing up in a rural area of Korea in the 19th century. The book explores her relationship with her mother and the changes into womanhood that occur with every spring's rainy season. The poetry of this book is lyrical and lovely.

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ChocolateChips
Oct 09, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

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ChocolateChips
Oct 09, 2011

That is why they say that a woman is fickle...The heart of a woman blooms into a flower and sings like a bird just because an uannounced rain stops by. When it does, a ten-year drought is relieved in one second, and a one-hundred-year-old rose finally finds water. A woman is truly a strange creature.

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