I am currently on semi-hiatus and am not accepting books for review at this time. The sisters are haenyeo - free divers - and belong to a strong female community. White Chrysanthemum is the story of Hana and Emi, two sisters belonging to the Haenyo community- female free divers of Jeju Island. Their story should be written, the voices should be heard. Change ). [5] The Guardian comments on how the author demonstrates pain through her characters, and how the novel "forces us to confront the inescapability of these traumas". Their lives under Japanese occupation are hard, but the sea gives them a measure of strength, independence, and respect that most Korean women in 1943 could only dream of. Hana is separated from the group and is brought to a ferry with other comfort women who were stored inside and being transported to an undisclosed location. The Sound Of The Mountain by Yasunar, "What would you change if you could go back in tim, "If you read a novel to the end, then it's over. It is tremendously empathetic, especially to the women at its core but even to its villains, and it confronts difficult events head-on without simplifying the people who experience them to one-note tragedies. Emi is beginning her dive as a haenyeo woman with JinHee, a fellow diver. (It makes sense that Hana would dissociate under the circumstances, but it doesn’t make for good reading.) He is a Japanese soldier named Corporal Morimoto, and has Hana taken with him, leaving her sister behind. The story alternates between two timelines- the chapters set in 1943 tell Hana’s harrowing story and the chapters set in 2011 is about Emi and how she still hasn’t come to terms with her loss and the hope that Hana is alive somewhere. I hope you’ll stick around and browse the stacks! The next morning, the local soldiers learn of the arrival of a new comfort women, prompting them to visit Hana. Both are haenyeo, women who dive into the ocean on Jeju island, Korea. Family secrets are exciting to readers, but they’re astonishingly painful to the people who live them, hear about them, and must re-evaluate their core selves around them. YoonHui is in the sea and wants to dive to remember what it is like to be a haenyeo like her mother. They were not allowed to be themselves. While reading this novel I read quite a few articles on comfort women and it left me with a heavy feeling in my heart. Her son was born the year the Korean War begun. I came across White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht and I knew I had to read it. Corporal Morimoto visits Hana each night he is on duty and rapes her. She explores the effects of Hana’s abduction on her family, especially her sister Emi. I love writing and talking about books. Emi is trapped in a loveless marriage. After learning that HyunMo had her mother killed, she told her son that he was the only thing that kept her from killing herself. It sounds cliched when I use the word devastating or heartbreaking but I don’t know what other words to use. White Chrysanthemum has two narrators in two different timelines: Hana (in 1943) and Emiko (in 2011). The dual timeline gives a perspective as events unfold through Hana's experience in the 1940s and a later perspective in 2011 from Emi's experience. The novel then splits between the two women as Hana becomes a comfort woman and Emi searches for her sister sixty years later. The man who had brought them to the station, HyunMo, forced Emi to marry him. She is then returned to the rest of the women as they arrive to a train depot. One chapter of the novel is told from the perspective of YoonHui, Emi's daughter. When Emi is back in the present moment of the Demonstration, Emi meets a group of older women and asks if they knew a Hana. In White Chrysanthemum, Jeju Islander sisters Hana and Emi train as haenyeo with their mother. “Look for your sister after each dive. Emi did not believe that he married her for love; only for her family's land. The history is explored with a light, eloquent touch that leaves plenty of room for character and plot development. The world will never know the actual story of these women. Emi and Hana mourn the loss of their childhood, their family, their world. Their sons where forced to fight for Japanese, their daughters used as comfort women, they were not allowed to read, write or speak in Korean. She feels guilty because she couldn’t save Hana and she is ashamed because she hid like a coward when her sister was abducted. Mary Lynn Bract said in an interview that the authors she either had previously read or read while working on this novel were Toni Morrison, Kyung-Sook Shin, Annie Proulx, Muriel Barbery, Marilynne Robinson, Maya Angelou, Michael Ondaatje, George Orwell, Helen Dunmore, Kimiko Hahn, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. To give one? The story of Hana is not for the faint-hearted. There are times when Bracht moves back and forth between fantasy and reality, particularly in Hana’s story, that feel more confusing than dreamy. Taking place in Korea, White Chrysanthemum is about two sisters named Hana and Emi that are separated by World War II. Emi tells her children that she was not an only child, and that she did not tell them because of shame. 4/5 stars. So many years have passed since the war ended, since the protests began, yet the crimes still go unpunished. They bring her back to the place they live. I, Hello #bookwormsofinstagram The Japanese burn their home and kill their father. It was from the daughter of a woman who was captured by Russian soldiers during World War II and had donated it to the Museum of Sexual Slavery. The novel starts in 1943. Her nephew pointed out that someone had left flowers; they were white chrysanthemums. [8], "Mary Lynn Bracht on White Chrysanthemum", "Mary Lynn Bracht 'I grew up always listening to these stories from my mother's homeland, "[Sponsored] 'Good writing inspires creativity!' Bracht has a Korean mother and grew up in a community of expat Korean women, and after I turned the last page, that detail was utterly unsurprising to me: White Chrysanthemum reads like it was written by an attentive, interested listener. She imagines herself diving with her mother and running on the beach with Emi. Thanks for understanding! Emi talks about how she does not visit her children often because she has a distant relationship with them. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to save Hana. Emi is at the one thousandth Wednesday Demonstration that has happened since 1992. ( Log Out /  The existence of comfort women wasn’t widely known until the first Korean woman came forward in 1991–over 50 years after the practice began–but the history is still foggy to many Americans. I’m Maggie Tiede, a writer who loves to read. How To Tell The Story Of An Insurge, Kicking off the weekend with some mythological ret, Since we are all geared up to read books for the #, Happy Tuesday guys A few elements work less well than others. This is what my weekend looks like! The Literary Circle is my creative space where I talk about my love for all things bookish. Hana is brought to a police station where she maintains the lie that she told Corporal Morimoto, that her family is dead, by giving a false last name so they cannot locate them. Here is my next few, *Book Review* She was fourteen when she was married. White Chrysanthemum is a novel written by Mary Lynn Bracht. When her husband was on his deathbed, he thanked her for their children, he said he always loved her in his own way, asked that she not hate him so much after he dies, that she light incense for his ancestors, and that she forgive him for everything. The novel includes a map from 1943, further readings, and a notable dates section. To order a copy for £11.04 (RRP £12.99) go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Corporal Morimoto leaves for a period of time, and Hana begins to learn terms in Mongolian and about the people she is staying with. White Chrysanthemum throws light upon the conditions and the ordeal these women had to go through. White Chrysanthemum is about a dark chapter in the history of the world. There’s a tragic twist to Emi’s story about halfway through the book that came off as cheap to me–I think Bracht was trying to add urgency, but I thought the story would have been just as good without it. [2] At the age of 16 years old, Hana is taken away by a Japanese soldier to become a comfort woman. My copy of White Chrysanthemum came from my local library and I was in no way compensated for this review. As you can, I was extremely excited to get my hands on Anthony, #currentlyreading Aruni Kashyap's How To Tell The, My first book review for October is here and it is, Coffee, books and some flowers to unwind on a Sund, I read Lucy Foley's The Hunting Party this July.