by Mary Lynn Bracht
Pub Date 18 Jan 2018
'Look for your sister after each dive. Never forget. If you see her, you are safe.'
Hana and her little sister Emi are part of an island community of haenyeo, women who make their living from diving deep into the sea off the southernmost tip of Korea.
One day Hana sees a Japanese soldier heading for where Emi is guarding the day’s catch on the beach. Her mother has told her again and again never to be caught alone with one. Terrified for her sister, Hana swims as hard as she can for the shore.
So begins the story of two sisters suddenly and violently separated by war. Switch-backing between Hana in 1943 and Emi as an old woman today, White Chrysanthemum takes us into a dark and devastating corner of history. But pulling us back into the light are two women whose love for one another is strong enough to triumph over the evils of war.
A riveting, immersive read in the vein of The Kite Runner and Memoirs of a Geisha.
A Note From the Publisher
'I read Hana and Emi's story with my heart in my mouth... A bold, devastating, important novel shot through with hope and beauty'
'White Chrysanthemum is a powerful account of a little discussed
subject about the Second World War -- comfort women enslaved by the
Japanese army -- but it’s also about the courage of the women involved
who want to speak about their suffering and their cry for justice, peace
and love. Hana’s tragic life is just one of an estimated 200,000 Korean
comfort women’s stories. Beautifully written, it’s an impressive debut
novel from a writer with a sensitive heart and gifted mind'
'Elegantly written, emotionally shattering, and historically accurate, White Chrysanthemum
is a feat of literary alchemy. Mary Lynn Bracht reveals the
unfathomable cruelty of Japanese sex slavery during World War II through
the unbreakable love of Korean sisters'
Blaine Harden, New York Times bestselling author of Escape From Camp 14