The Korea Herald


[New in Korean] 'Runaway Lovers' blends suspenseful thriller and bittersweet romance

By Hwang Dong-hee

Published : Sept. 3, 2023 - 11:27

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"Runaway Lovers" (a literal translation of the Korean title) by Lee Seung-eun (Changbi Publishers)

"Runaway Lovers" (a literal translation of the Korean title)

By Lee Seung-eun

Changbi Publishers

A young couple is locked in an unending struggle for survival.

Tae-oh writes scripts for plays and works at a gas station on the outskirts of a provincial city, while Ji-soo works part-time as a theater actor. She secretly lodges in the employee’s lounge where Tae-oh works. Despite their financial struggles, they depend on each other and dream of a future on the stage.

On a fateful snowy night, their lives intersect with a well-off working mother named Young-in. They rescue her from a snowstorm after her car breaks down, stranding her on a remote mountain road near the gas station.

Young-in quickly bonds with Ji-soo, who takes care of her. However, the couple’s situation steadily worsens: Ji-soo grapples with mounting debt and Tae-oh, who urgently needs money for his father’s surgery, loses his job at the gas station.

Returning the favor, Young-in hires Ji-soo as a babysitter for her daughter, leading to the couple becoming deeply entwined in Young-in’s life.

The glaring disparity between their worlds becomes increasingly apparent.

As a series of unforeseen events and crises unfold, the two lovers find themselves pushed beyond their limits. Their struggles escalate, giving rise to shared anguish and buried secrets.

The romance thriller navigates a chillingly realistic narrative.

As the lovers are swept up in a series of winter-battered events, their tale takes a progressively darker and more sinister turn.