White Chrysanthemum

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With two alternating points of view separated by nearly 70 years, Mary Lynn Bracht captures the tragedy that befalls two Korean sisters during World War II. In 1943, a Japanese soldier appears on the shore while 16-year-old Hana is diving with the other haenyeo. Seeing that her sister, Emi, who is too young to dive and is waiting on the beach, is in danger of being discovered by the threatening soldier, Hana acts quickly. Giving herself up in her sister’s place, Hana is stolen away to become a sex slave. In 2011 Emi is still hoping to reunite with Hana; with this dream, she travels to Seoul to visit her son and daughter and to attend the 1,000th Wednesday Demonstration in front of the Japanese Embassy. While committed to accurately portraying a period of devastating history, White Chrysanthemum is a moving tribute to haenyeo culture, WWII sex slaves–known as “comfort women”–and the enduring human spirit.

Bracht plunges into the shattering world of comfort women, detailing a number of horrors that altogether teeter on the edge of desensitizing. Though much of the novel is emotionally draining, the more lyrical passages, particularly when describing the life of haenyeo, are refreshingly uplifting. Handling significant subjects with extreme sensitivity, Bracht writes with feeling and purpose that is inspiring and deeply affecting.


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Author Mary Lynn Bracht
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publish Date 2018-Jan-30
ISBN 9780735214439
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2018
Category Modern Literature
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