Fishnets in the Far East: A Dancer’s Diary in Korea, Michele E. Northwood

Caution, mild spoilers ahead.

“ “Anyway, it’s only for six months,” I said, trying to convince myself more than my neighbor! “Besides, I’ve always wanted to visit Asia.” ”

I got a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

I must say this book was an amusing read. The Fishnets in the Far East: A Dancer’s Diary in Korea reads like a fun diary, written by someone you know. And, of course, it is sometimes as confusing as a diary can be, with a few jumps in a time-line that made me think that much more time has passed than 6 months.

Fishnets in the Far East narrates an adventure in a distant land, which keeps glued to the book till the last page is turned. And maybe by the end of it, it feels too repetitive, with the protagonists running in the same trouble over and over again, but it is funny and interesting.

Michele E. Northwood paints an incredible picture of a man-dominated South Korea in the 1980s and a troupe of dancers who tries to survive on the minimal wages they get from their sleazy agent while working in clubs and disco-bars that look more like brothels. Each moment brings new fears and hopes for the girls and, when Michele receives the news that her sister is coming, you wonder how will she survive the same world Michele did.

But as we come to know, Michele troupe was one of the only dancers who were unsuccessful in South Korea, thanks to the other members of her troupe. And actually, you won’t wonder why. The only question I’ve been having is why didn’t they leave Korea earlier if things were going as badly as said. But I guess, the hope is the last thing that dies.

Turning the last page, you will feel sad that the adventure has ended. But it seems Michele will find her way to Asia again, this time to Japan, and we can only hope that this time around, her trip will be easier and more productive.

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