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The Valuable Secrets of Women—Mothers and Daughters, Review The Color of Earth

The Valuable Secrets of Women—Mothers and Daughters, Review The Color of Earth

The Color of Earth

by Kim Dong Hwa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this books for its merits in regards to adolescent development. I see Ewha undergoing many different developmental tasks to some degree. Throughout the book, Ewha is learning about her identity as a woman and also as an individual, this in one way was illustrated in Ewha contemplating what flower represented her. Also, with each new chapter, Ewha is developing intellectually, she comes to understand more about her body and other “universal truths” about her gender told to her by her mother.

I loved the relationship between Ewha and her mother.

I think Ewha’s intimacy development is, in part shown through her developing relationship with her mother. As Ewha grows in maturity, their relationship becomes more intimate. Ewha’s new feelings for the young monk and then young Master Sunoo also demonstrate the developmental task of intimacy. Concerning integrity, the most profound image of this is, for me, after Ewha leaves Bongsoon’s house and comes to the realization that 

“Because I asked something I shouldn’t have asked, I heard something I have heard. And because I went where I shouldn’t have gone, I saw what I shouldn’t have seen. How will my young heart cope with all that I’ve heard and seen?”

I see the experience of Ewha discovering the happenings between Boongsoon and Dongchul, helps Ewha discover and what she values and thus develops her integrity. Finally, Ewha’s independence develops throughout the graphic novel as she continually grows. Ewha knows that one day she will leave her mother, and her mother prepares her by teaching her more life lessons needed for independence with every passing year.

Regarding the book’s artistic merits, I thought that the two different artwork styles work beautifully together! Each piece of art in the novel was interesting, captivating, and even thought-provoking. The usage of the classic Korean style provided a lot of intricate and lovely detail. Also, it helped set the distinct Korean setting and illustrated for the reader many fine points of Korean culture. The lyrical tone of the text was well depicted in the classic Korean style artwork. The usage of the more casual manga style was fun, humorous, and still provided distinct characterization. Though this style was more “casual,” I thought that each character had very different and witty expressions.

I think this book would be ideal for mothers and daughters to read together, or for them to just discuss it together. CLICK TO TWEET

Many possibly difficult questions are addressed in the book, and since it is presented as a fictional story, it is both relatable and removes the reader enough to check any personal awkwardness. 

Yours Truly, LeNae

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