Once Around the Sun
Extraordinary tales of an ordinary Korean family!
In Melanie Steyn’s novel Once Around the Sun, we are introduced to the Lee family. Dong-ju, the 12 year old son—boisterous, exuberant and curious; Ji-young, the 16 year old daughter, ripped from childhood and thrown into an adult world too soon; Yun-hwa, defined as a wife and a mother, but searching to be just herself; and Kyu-ah, the grandmother, looking back on a life full of heartache, but also forward to the legacy she will leave through her family. Each has an individual journey of self discovery.
The novel is divided into four chapters and takes part over the period of one year. Each chapter represents a season, and each season covers the story of one member of the family. They start
out as simple tales of ordinary life, but soon unfold into extraordinary accounts of spiritual awakening. They tell of enlightenment; of growing up and growing wise; the seasonal journey of each family member searching for authenticity. They are tales of people who are variously “dis-located” finding their true spiritual “location,” and so reaching a point of personal acceptance and contentment.
Once Around the Sun is a joy to read. Melanie Steyn writes in an accessible style which will appeal to a wide audience. Use of the seasonal imagery gives the novel shape, and the resonance of nature in the story leads to an awareness of time passing, of something larger than human life being important.