The Island of Sea Women Summary – Lisa See’s New Book

Lisa See, a virtuoso of historical fiction. Lisa See tells a fascinating account of the haenyeo, a tribe of Korean female divers, in her latest novel. Presenting the island of sea women summary. Check out all you need to know about Lisa See’s new book.  It will be available on March 5th.


The Island of Sea Women Summary

The island of sea women summary expertly examines the nuances of female friendship. It exposes readers to Jeju Island’s extraordinarily strong and passionate female divers.

the island of sea women summary

It’s also an eye-opening portrayal of a country scarred by decades of violence and upheaval. As well as a chilling assessment of the impact of foreign involvement on the growth of a nation. The island of sea women summary poses everlasting issues such as, “How do we find forgiveness?” Is it possible to find forgiveness? “A fantastic intergenerational family epic. It presents an intriguing cultural anthropology spotlighting the soon-to-be-lost. The matriarchal haenyeo phenomenon and an engrossing history of fiercely chaotic twentieth-century Korea,” according to Booklist. Stupendous…Mesmerizing.”

See Also: Books Set In Massachusetts [Top 14]

Praises For The Island Of Sea Women

“Lisa See excels at mining the intersection of family, friendship, and history, and in her newest novel, she reaches new depths in exploring the matrifocal haenyeo society in Korea, caught between tradition and modernization.  This novel spans wars and generations. But at its heart is a beautifully rendered story of two women whose individual choices become inextricably tangled.”—Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of A SPARK OF LIGHT and SMALL GREAT THINGS

the island of sea women summary

“A stupendous multigenerational family saga, See’s latest also provides enthralling cultural anthropology highlighting the soon-to-be-lost, matriarchal haenyeo phenomenon and engrossing history of violently tumultuous twentieth-century Korea. A mesmerizing achievement. See’san accomplishment, acclaim, and readership continue to rise with each book, and interest in this stellar novel will be well stoked.”

— Terry Hong, Booklist, STARRED review

See Also: Grim Lovelies You Must Read [2023]

Things To Know

Everything you need to know Before Reading Lisa See’s New Book

The island of sea women summary

Lisa See’s new novel the island of sea women summary introduces us to two young Korean girls, Young-sook and Mi-ja, who live on the Korean island of Jeju. They become great friends as they train and join the haenyeo, an ancient collective of all-female divers.

the island of sea women summary

However, as time passes, Young-sook and Mi-Ja have to confront the hard truths of their different lives. Which brings them both closer together and further away.

The Real “Sea Women” of Korea have Supported their Families for Millennia by Diving for Seafood.

The haenyeo, “sea women” in Korean, are real people who have provided for their families.  For millennia by diving to catch seafood they can sell. Though diving up to 30 feet deep, they don’t use underwater breathing aids. They dig up sea creatures from the ocean floor by hand and bring them to the surface. This incredible practice has been going on for thousands of years. And the diving tradition of the haenyeo will continue to pass down to new generations of women.

See Also: Top 10 Southern Authors You Should Know

She Traveled to Jeju, a Korean Region, to Understand Firsthand How these Ladies Live and Work.

They performed field research to understand more about the haenyeo, including visits to Jeju and meetings with the ladies themselves. “I was startled to find haenyeo going considerably deeper than I thought,” See told Korea Joongang Daily. Impressed by the amazing people she encountered. I was amazed by their tolerant and selfless mentality, which drove them to dive into the water despite the huge risk in order to feed their family.”

See Also: Best Books On Marriage And Relationships [Top 5]

Lisa See’s Current Work, the island of sea women summary

The haenyeo of Jeju is the most recent in a long series of powerful female characters to emerge in Lisa See’s novels. Lisa See’s new novel displays several generations of women against the backdrop of years of tradition. “The island has a matrifocal society, which means that the culture is based on women,” she stated in an interview.

the island of sea women summary

Women make money and provide for their families, while men care for the children and perform the housework.”

A Sample Chapter from Lisa See’s New Book Depicts Mi-Ja and Young-Complicated Sook’s Familial Relations.

The opening chapter of The Island of Sea Women takes place in the present, with an elderly Young-sook residing on Jeju. She meets Janet, a young lady who identifies herself as the granddaughter of Young-childhood . Her closest friend, Mi-Ja. Then Young-sook takes us back to 1938 to tell us about her family. Her friendship with Mi-Ja. And how she became involved in the rich history of the haenyeo.

See Also: Upcoming Books You Must Give A Try [Top 10]

Early Reviews Laud See’s Writing Style and Meticulous Research. 

Kirkus Reviews compliments the author, noting, “See undertook substantial research with primary materials…”. Deems the intriguing story an “essential read”. According to Publishers Weekly, “See perceptively illustrates problems experienced by Koreans over the course of the twentieth century. Particularly honing in on the ways the haenyeo have worked to retain their way of life”. And “See’s luscious narrative is a magnificent homage to a genuinely unusual group of women.” “Compelling, heart-wrenching and wonderfully written, The Island of Sea Women will immerse you into a world and a narrative you’ve never read before. It will remind you how powerful women can be,” says New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah.

early reviews

That idea is conveyed in “The Island of Sea Women. “For whatever it is — from a disagreement with a husband to a world war, and everything in between. The minute you let go of the dreadful thing that happened. That’s when you’re no longer a prisoner of the past,” she adds. “It enables you to progress.”


A mesmerizing story of the 80-years long friendship of two women. Young-sook and Mi-Ja are two young girls who will give you hope and motivation. We hope our The island of sea women summary and review would be helpful for you. Also, don’t forget to check out Lisa See’s other books like The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Happy reading.