My Review of “White Chrysanthemum”

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“White Chrysanthemum” by Mary Lynn Bracht is a combination of fiction and historical fiction. The genres for the this story are Historical Fiction, General Fiction, and War Story.  This is a heavy  read about the evils and destruction of war on families and people., both women and men. The story takes place during World War Two, and brings up the history of Korea, and Japan’s involvement during the war. It also involves other countries. The story also is written in the present time.
The characters are described as complicated and complex as depicted by the events in the story. This is a story about evil times, and the evil things that happened to innocent people, which is often what happens in a war. Hana has lived in Japan occupied Korea as long as she can remember. Hana is a “haenyeo” a female diver of the seas as her mother. Hana’s other responsibility is to watch out for her younger sister Emi.  Hana sees a Japanese soldier on the beach and hides her sister. Hana is captured. The characters hold deep dark secrets .
In the present day, Emi, is an older woman, who has never told her two children about her sister and guilt. She is trying to remember and forgive  the past to move on.
The author discusses the tragedy of war, and the use of Korean Comfort Women, women who were captured to satisfy the pleasure of the Japanese men. Many of these older women never received compensation or apologies from the Japanese government. Many of the difficulties in Korea after World War Two, and the division of the country and other countries involved.  Be warned this is a difficult book to read. Readers that like reading about War and the effects of war might want to read this. I was left with many thoughts and a great deal to reflect upon. I received a copy of this ARC for my honest review.

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