A riveting debut novel about four women navigating contemporary South Korea, a world of strict social hierarchies, extreme plastic surgery, K-pop fan mania, and ruthless men. "Even as a girl, I knew the only chance I had was to change my face. When I looked into the mirror, I knew everything in it had to change, even before a fortune-teller told me so." This utterly compelling novel follows the interconnected lives of four young women balancing on the edge of survival in contemporary Seoul, Korea. Kyuri is a heartbreakingly beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a "room salon," an exclusive bar where she entertains wealthy businessmen while they drink. Though she prides herself on her cold, clear-eyed approach to life, an impulsive mistake with a client one evening suddenly threatens her livelihood. Her roomate, Miho, is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York. Returning to Korea after college, she finds herself in an impossible relationship with the super-wealthy heir to one of Korea's biggest companies. Down the hall in their apartment building lives Ara, a hair stylist whose obsession with a boy-band pop star drives her to desperate extremes. And Wonna, one floor below, is a newlywed trying to get pregnant with a child that she and her husband will not be able to afford to raise and educate in the cutthroat economy of Seoul. Together, their stories form a gripping portrait of a world that's seemingly unfamiliar, yet unmistakably universal in the way that their tentative friendships prove to be their saving grace.
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