Maija Rhee Devine

My Book, The Voices of Heaven, Reaches Young Generation

The Voices of Heaven, my autobiographical novel about growing up in Korea, a man’s love for two women (his wife and his second wife he lives with in the same house),  what they go through during the Korean War (1950-1953) and their post-war lives through 2005 is being read by social studies students in Korean International School in Seoul.  One of the 8th graders wrote an exceedingly intelligent and moving review of the book and posted it on Here is the link.  I also copy the review here.

(1) A review of The Voices of Heaven by an  8th grader at Korean International School, 11/18/21 on Goodreads website:

Hannah’s Reviews > The Voices of Heaven

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The Voices of Heaven

Maija Rhee Devine (Goodreads Author)


Hannah‘s review

Nov 18, 2021

it was amazing

bookshelves: school-read-8favorites

I thought that this book was beautifully written and carefully crafted in order to extract certain reactions and emotions from the reader especially in terms of connecting with each of the characters. I think that by alternating between the different perspectives of Soo-yang, Gui-young, Eum-chun and Mi-Na, it gives so much more depth to the story. Each character holds their own burdens and internal struggles as they try to uphold cultural traditions. I think it is admirable how the author refuses to take out or white wash any of the content and overall, it’s brutally honest and accurate on every event that occurred.

As a Korean-American growing up surrounded by western culture, concepts like boy-preference or historical events like the Korean War are things that are rather unfamiliar and untouched. But I think that after reading this book, I felt like I was starting to understand the pains and hardships of my parents, my grandparents, and the people who have come before me. I think especially with Mi-Na’s story, even though her struggles are not one that I have directly dealt with, the pressure to fulfill a parent’s expectations and be “good enough” is something that I can sympathize with and is something that is still so common regardless of how much our society has modernized and how much situations have changed. Even though we’re no longer in a war and many of us no longer have to worry about lack of food, we can still see the same themes in our society. I love how this book urges readers to make that connection between the problems in the book and the problems in the world of the readers.

I think that this book is a must-read for anyone regardless of their age or gender and I really enjoyed reading it.

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Finished Reading

November 18, 2021 – Shelved

November 18, 2021 – Shelved as: school-read-8

November 23, 2021 – Shelved as: favorites


(2) All reviews of the VOH posted on Goodreads:

#thevoicesofheaven #patriarchsouthkorea #genderinequality #sonpreference #glassceilingindex #sexratioatbirth #populationimbalance #yinandyang #chinesezodiacsigns #fengshui #koreanproverbs #koreanlanguage #hangul #thekoreanwar #syngmanrhee #harrystruman #genmacarthur #armistic #chineseinkoreanwar

Posted on: December 5th, 2021 by Maija Rhee Devine

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