by Paul Fleischman
Here's another sob story for you, Shmoopers. Sae Young, who grew up in Korea, had trouble conceiving a child with her husband. Already pretty tough, but then, the unthinkable happened: her husband died of a heart attack while he was still super young. Oh, and then she got robbed and beat up in the dry cleaning shop she own.
So yeah, Sae Young has been through a lot, and she spends a long time being afraid of the world because of these bad experiences. In fact she stays inside her apartment for months at a time. But we've got some good news: joining in on the community garden becomes a turning point in Sae Young's life. It's a way for her to overcome some of her fears.
Plus, the garden helps her become part of a community again. Just like Wendell, Sae Young has lost important family members, but the garden helps her find new friends. Take a look at how Sae Young feels once people start using her funnels to collect rainwater for their plants:
That day I see man use my funnel. Then woman. Then many people. Feel very glad inside. Feel part of garden. Almost like family. (8.7)
For a lady who's been feeling super lonely and afraid, this must be an awesome feeling. Sae Young isn't staying inside anymore, and she isn't super lonely either. Now that's one incredible transformation.