Monday, April 16, 2018

White Chrysanthemum

White Chrysanthemum
by Mary Lynn Bracht
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons (January 30, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735214433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735214439
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds


In the spirit of Lilac Girls, the heartbreaking history of Korea is brought to life in this deeply moving and redemptive debut that follows two sisters separated by World War II.

Korea, 1943. Hana has lived her entire life under Japanese occupation. As a haenyeo, a female diver of the sea, she enjoys an independence that few other Koreans can still claim. Until the day Hana saves her younger sister from a Japanese soldier and is herself captured and transported to Manchuria. There she is forced to become a “comfort woman” in a Japanese military brothel. But haenyeo are women of power and strength. She will find her way home.

South Korea, 2011. Emi has spent more than sixty years trying to forget the sacrifice her sister made, but she must confront the past to discover peace. Seeing the healing of her children and her country, can Emi move beyond the legacy of war to find forgiveness?

Suspenseful, hopeful, and ultimately redemptive, White Chrysanthemum tells a story of two sisters whose love for each other is strong enough to triumph over the grim evils of war.

My Thoughts

In this read Korea is under Japanese Occupation and young women are in danger of capture. If captured they are transported to Manchuria and end up servicing the Japanese Army as Comfort women. 

From a young age, Hana's mother would state to her, "Look for your sister ( Emi) after each dive. Never forget, if you see her, you are safe." 

The whole situation of Hana watching the soldier along the bank, from the water, was riveting. Hana distracts the soldier and saves her sister. But, she is transported to Manchuria and forced to be a sex slave. 

This harrowing story offers Hana's life beginning in WWII and her sister Emi's in 2011.

This book was well written. And, the details are horrific. I seldom walk away from a read but I did multiple times throughout this. I feel this story will be the topic of many book club discussions.

I'd reviewed ARC for Net Galley

This begins a new week. The top 10 audience last week was United States, Ukraine, Canada, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Poland, Russia, India  and South Korea

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