This novel alternates between the voices of three women at the center of an event, digging further and further into what an unsolved crime leaves behind and asking heavy questions about the meaning of life.
- Book Intro
In the summer of 2002, nineteen-year-old Hae-eon was found dead in the park. Seventeen years passed without the culprit being caught. The novel begins with Da-eon imagining a detective interrogating Han Man-woo, who was a suspect at the time. There was one more suspect: Shin Jung-joon, the driver of the car Hae-eon was in the last time she was seen. But Shin Jung-joon had a clear alibi. As such, the case remains open, but the lives of those involved in the tragedy are changed completely. Kwon Yeosun's fourth novel Lemon, which begins with a murder case, is a clear departure from the novels she has written to date. This fascinating mystery narrative has remarkable attraction, instantly pulling the reader into the middle of the story and bringing all the pleasures of the genre.
Hae-eon's little sister Da-eon, the central narrator of the book, was a "child who laughed like a bell on a bike rolling down a hill, ding ding ding ding." But after the incident, her face becomes expressionless, a "mixture of strange images." Eight years later, she decides to visit Han Man-woo, the main suspect in the case. In 2016, when this book was released, the literary critic Jung Hong-soo said, "The depth of the scene where Kim Da-eon enters the house of Han Man-woo is greater than I have ever felt in any other novel before." All the scenes in Han Man-woo's house show what the novel originally meant to say, in a sad and heavy way. Beginning with the murder of a high school girl, the story leads to the question of the existence of God and the meaning of death and life. This flow demonstrates the depth of storytelling that only Kwon Yeosun can achieve.
At the heart of all these events is "the color yellow," represented by the word lemon. The word appeared in a poem written by Sanghee, who Da-eon followed more than her sister. It reminds us of the warm yellow color of the fried eggs that Da-eon ate at Han Man-woo's house. It is the color of the dress worn by her sister Hae-eon. The yellow color of the lemon, which symbolizes the good times that will never come again, leads Da-eon to decide to get revenge. Here is hidden the astonishing twist of the novel.
- About the Author
Kwon Yeosun (F) made her debut in 1996 with a novel The Green Niche. Collections of short stories by Kwon include Virgin Skirt, The Days of the Pink Ribbon, Red Fruits on My Garden, Nutmeg Forest, and Hello Drunkard. Her novels include Legato, Tow's House, and Lemon. She also published an essay collection What Shall I Eat Today? She received the Yi-sang Literary Award, the Hankook Ilbo Literary Award, the Kim Dong-ri Literary Award, the Kim Dong-in Literary Award, and the Lee Hyo-seok Literary Award.