After years of working in a Seoul room salon, Kyuri finally has a job she loves and a confidant who has helped her navigate her career. But when she receives a mysterious text from an old friend asking for help, she returns to the place where both her past and future will inevitably collide. A debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossibly high standards of beauty, secret room salons catering to wealthy men, strict social hierarchies, and K-pop fan mania.
Kyuri is an assistant to the vice president at a room salon, where she entertains men from all over Asia. Even though the salon’s secret only stays for so long, rumors soon make their way around Seoul about the vice president’s girlfriend. Kyuri has heard them all: she’s not pretty enough, her eyes are too small and her mouth is too wide. She’s already questioning her beauty routine when a fortune-teller warns her that she will attract trouble if she does not change her look. The salon owner’s son and his friends do not seem like troubled men, but when they come back with bags full of cash and need more assistants before leaving Seoul again, Kyuri knows there’s more going on than first meets the eye. Only after Kyuri captures one of those men in a compromising situation does it become clear why they have been watching her so closely….”
This debut novel is set in contemporary Seoul, Korea. It follows the stories of four young women struggling to define themselves and find their place in the world. Kyuri is a beautiful woman with a hard-won job at an upscale bar where she entertains wealthy men while they drink and flirt. She wants nothing more than to marry well. When they are introduced to Seoul through Zhouyi, a fortune-teller who says that Kyuri’s face was “shaped by destiny” (a Korean cultural tradition), it sets off a series of events that change all their lives forever.”
About If I Had Your FaceBook
A debut novel set in contemporary Seoul, Korea, about four young women making their way in a world defined by impossibly high standards of beauty, secret room salons catering to wealthy men, strict social hierarchies, and K-pop fan mania. “Even as a girl, I knew the only chance I had was to change my face… even before a fortune-teller told me so.” Kyuri is a beautiful woman with a hard-won job at a “room salon,” an upscale bar where she entertains businessmen while they drink. Though she prides herself on her cold, clear-eyed approach to life, an impulsive mistake with a client may threaten her livelihood.
Her roommate, Miho, is a talented artist who grew up in an orphanage but won a scholarship to study art in New York. Returning to Korea after college, she finds herself in a precarious relationship with the super-wealthy heir to one of Korea’s biggest companies.
Down the hall in their apartment building lives Ara, a hair stylist for whom two preoccupations sustain her: obsession with a boy-band pop star, and a best friend who is saving up for the extreme plastic surgery that is commonplace.
And Wonna, one floor below, is a newlywed trying to get pregnant with a child that she and her husband have no idea how they can afford to raise and educate in the cutthroat economy.
Together, their stories tell a seemingly unfamiliar tale, yet unmistakably universal in the way that their tentative friendships may have to be their saving grace.