Oh, but I must mention, the comparisons to Memoirs of a Geisha? Despite the pain that White Chrysanthemum brings, it’s a story that deserves to be told, as it is an important part of history that is often brushed aside, not only by Japan, but by the world at large. Were it not for its barbaric content, the prose style could work well for a young adult audience. The book revolves around haenyeo, female freedivers from the southern Korean island of Jeju. On the journey, she watches a young girl that she tried to protect die. Bracht pulls of this feat seamlessly, offering alternating points of view from Hana and Emi, past and present. This is an ARC review of Mary Lynn Bracht’s White Chrysanthemum, which releases January 30, 2018. That the details of the abuse were not made public until 1992 make the remembrance of them all the more important. And I feel like books like this can help spread that knowledge and the horrific atrocities done to these women for many, many years. Her bottom lip is cut and swollen, and her neck is rubbed raw from hands and forearms that choked her into submission. Not the book itself, but I was miserable reading this and all the violence and tragedy that occurred in the pages. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for White Chrysanthemum at Amazon.com. Paperback Paris is a community-driven book blog for readers and writers alike who enjoy engaging in book-related discussions. Objectively, I realize it was well-written and shines a light on a horrible thing that was done to women from many different nations during the Japanese occupation of WW2. Bracht confirmed what I had only suspected – there is so much that we don’t know about the world. Though it’s not the type of book that many would enjoy reading, I don’t think, because of the events it covers. Although White Chrysanthemum is a work of historical fiction, it is very much based in fact – up to 200,000 women were forced to become comfort women during Japan’s occupation of Korea. Like I mentioned, major trigger warnings for graphic scenes of rape, kidnapping, murder, and beating. There are some nice diving scenes interspersed throughout the narrative for the reader to really get a feel for what living as a haenyeo is like. Knowing full well that she has lost her life, Hana is taken by Morimoto, who treats her as if she is an object to be used and abused, where Bracht reveals the true horrors that so called comfort women faced while in captivity. Sometimes life is way too hard. While committed to accurately portraying a period of devastating history, White Chrysanthemum is a moving tribute to haenyeo culture, ... Seattle Book Review on Men’s Biographies for the Holidays; Our Other Brands. *Special thanks to Puntam for allowing us to read and review ahead of publication. Her profession allows her to assist in supporting her family. Much like The Women in the Castle and The Lost Letter, White Chrysanthemum is written from dual perspectives. Written by Mary Lynn Bracht Review by Sarah Johnson “Comfort women” is a euphemism for the girls and women forced to serve as prostitutes by Imperial Japanese forces during WWII—perhaps 200,000 in all. She holds up a hand mirror that fits into her palm, and Hana can’t help but look at her reflection. Where White Chrysanthemum succeeds is in its careful selection of historical events that combine to make an action-packed novel with a clear instructive purpose. Despite focusing my education on East Asian Studies and taking countless history classes on China, Korea, and Japan, I found myself astounded by the events that took place during the occupation of Korea, as the time period was only mentioned in passing. But you cannot compare two books and say they are similar because they are: 1: Both about Asian women; 2: about sisters being separated; 3: set during wartime; 4: even remotely thinking that “comfort women” and geisha are the same–they are NOT. Through impeccable language, fast pacing and unforgettable characters, Mary Lynn Bracht’s debut will stick with you and make you long for her next work of historical fiction. If you thought that was bad, however, you are in for much worse, as Mary Lynn Bracht tells the heartbreaking story of thousands of “comfort women” in her debut novel, White Chrysanthemum.