White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht

White Chrysanthemum

For fans of Min Jin Lee's Pachinko and Lilac Girls, the heartbreaking history of Korea is brought to life in this deeply moving and redemptive debut that follows two sisters separated by World War II.Korea, 1943. Hana has lived her entire life under Japanese occupation. As a haenyeo, a female diver of the sea, she enjoys an independence that few other Koreans can still claim. Until the day Hana saves her younger sister from a Japanese soldier and...

Details White Chrysanthemum

TitleWhite Chrysanthemum
Release DateOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherG.P. Putnam's Sons
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II, Cultural, Asia

Reviews White Chrysanthemum

  • Angela M
    This was not an easy book to read, yet I’m glad that I did. It’s a beautifully written tribute to Korean women who were taken from their homes during the Japanese occupation and forced to be “comfort women”, an inconceivably gentle phrase for the sex slaves they were made to be . It’s also a tribute and a remembrance as the author points out in her note, to all women around the world subjected to rape during wartime. These horrific even...
  • Jen
    I love when a story takes me to a place I've never heard of, especially an exotic location in the South Korean sea. But in 1943, that beauty was shadowed by the horrid history of war. Taking hundreds of thousands of lives - not just soldiers, but women who were kidnapped and offered up to soldiers to be 'comfort women': to be raped, humiliated and often murdered all in the name of supporting the Japanese war efforts.This story starts on Jeju isla...
  • Diane S ☔
    This is a book with very hard to read subject matter. It is a beautiful book and an ugly book,and a book based on historical truisms. It is also about historical events of which I had no knowledge.Hana comes from a long line of strong women who are called haenyo, they dive for a living, capturing the bottom feeders of sea creatures, which will be sold at the market. Emi, her younger sister, still not a strong enough swimmer, stays on shore to gua...
  • Dem
    A deeply moving and beautifully written historical fiction novel of human resilience and enduring love of sisters, a story about the Korean ‘comfort women’ prostituted by Japanese soldiers in World War II and two sisters separated as young girls but the bond of sisters remains strong and they never strop thinking about each other..This was an eye opening and haunting debut novel by Mary Lynn Brecht and while fictional it is based on real life...
  • Lori
    Powerfully heartbreaking. I am always so appreciative of authors that bring remarkable stories like this to the forefront. How many stories like Hanna’s exist? ‘The list of women suffering wartime rape is long and will continue to grow unless we include women’s wartime suffering in history books, commemorate the atrocities against them in museums, and remember the women and girls we lost by erecting monuments in their honor, like the Statue...
  • Celia
    Sometimes, old wounds need to be reopened to let them properly healThe white chrysanthemum – in Korea, the flower of the funeral, the flower of death. This story tells of death – perhaps not always death of the body; the spirit can die too.This book tells of the ‘comfort women’, women stolen from Korea to satisfy the sexual needs of the Japanese invaders. Somehow the Japanese think that sexually satisfied men will make better warriors.Thi...
  • Karen
    Subject matter in this novel was heartbreaking to read but paints a legitimate picture of the suffering of Koreans by the Japanese during WWII and post-war. The story alternatively told told from Hana and Emi’s perspectives, sisters who were ripped apart from one another at a young age is powerful. Hana’s story begins in 1943 as a young girl taken by Japanese soldiers to be used as a sex slave; Emi’s story in 2011, as an older woman carryin...
  • Dorie - Traveling Sister :)
    I have read many, many books about WWII but this is a part of that history that was new for me. Ms. Bracht has composed a novel about the suffering of the Koreans during WWII and it is well researched, well written but entirely heartbreaking.The story is about two sisters, Hana and Emiko who live on an island, Jeju, off of the coast of Korea. The novel opens beautifully with Hana being induced as a “Haenyeo”, a woman who dives expertly to sus...
  • Tania
    "Instead she swallowed her emotions, until she was able to continue to exist."This book reminded me why historical fiction is one of myfavorite genre's. I learned so much about the Korean war and Korean traditions. I also knew nothing about haenyeo, women of the sea, a community of close-knitted female divers and matriarchs. The author is an amazing writer, she tackles the very upsetting topic of comfort women - women/girls abducted to be sexual ...
  • Gumble's Yard
    In March 2016 I travelled to Seoul to see Pyeonghwabi (the Statute of Peace) … It was a sort of pilgrimage for me to journey half way across the world to set my eyes on the symbol representing, for me, wartime rape not only of Korean women and girls, but of all women and girls the world over: Uganda, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Myanmar, Yugoslavia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palenstine and more. The list of women suffering war time rape is long and wi...
  • Sonja Arlow
    Comfort women.Isn’t that a nice phrase that conjures up the image of a kind mother figure hugging away your sorrow?The reality is anything but comforting. It is estimated that between 50 and 200 THOUSAND Korean women and girls were stolen/taken as sexual slaves during Japan’s colonisation of Korea. Forced every day to be raped again and again by soldiers so these same soldiers can have some “comfort” before or after a battle. The story is...
  • RoseMary Achey
    A heartbreaking tale of two sisters beginning in 1943 as one of the sisters is kidnapped by a Japanese solider in occupied Korea. Forced into sexual slavery she served as a Comfort Woman to members of the Japanese military. The sister left behind spends the remainder of her life looking for her stolen sibling. The writing is good, the story well researched but some passages will be tough for mild mannered book clubbers. An important part of histo...
  • Karen Kay
    I received this from netgalley.com in exchange for a review. Korea, 1943. Hana, age 16 has lived her entire life under Japanese occupation. South Korea, 2011. Emi, her now elderly sister. As the story progresses, we understand the heart-breaking ordeals each of the sisters endured but they never forgot the love they had for each other.Very good book. This is the first book I've read where I was equally interested and invested in both timelines.4...
  • Stephanie Anze
    "You are her protector now, Hana.""Can I rely on you?" her mother asked, her voice stern."Yes, Mother, I will keep her safe. I promise""A promise is forever, Hana. Never forget."Such is the conversation that happens between Hana and her mother when Emiko (her liitle sister) is born and one that Hana honors. Korea is under Japananese rule. Hana and her mother are haenyo divers, earning their living by diving on Jeju Island and selling their catch....
  • Connie
    Although it is well-written, parts of "White Chrysanthemum" are difficult to read because of its troubling subject matter. The book is about a young Korean woman who was kidnapped by soldiers during the Japanese occupation in 1943, and forced to work as a "comfort woman". Hana was only sixteen-years-old, working as a free diver called a "haenyeo", while her younger sister was on the sandy shore guarding the catch. When a Japanese soldier comes to...
  • Roman Clodia
    The true story of Korean 'comfort women' i.e. sex slaves abducted by the Japanese army for the 'servicing' of troops, undoubtedly deserves to be told but this isn't a particularly accomplished or sophisticated novel. In fact, so keen is it to tell a story, that Hana, a 16 year old girl enslaved by a Japanese military officer, spends more time on the run in Manchuria and Mongolia than in the brothel in which she's placed. Hana's story is intersper...
  • Nada
    This book should come with a warning sign that says “stock up on tissue boxes before reading.”I would definitely place White Chrysanthemum on a book list for tear-jerkers. It was just so sad. I had to pause a few times, take a breather because I just couldn’t endure the sufferings.A historical fiction, set in Korea 1943 during the WW2, two sisters, Hana and Emi were separated when Hana was taken by the Japanese army. Told alternatively betw...
  • Cheryl
    Author Mary Lynn Bracht is an American of Korean descent. While visiting her mother’s village in Korea, she learned the stories of the “comfort women”. These girls and young women were kidnapped and forced into brothels which served the Japanese military during World War II.Based on the accounts of some of the surviving women, Bracht began to research this topic. Her beautifully written debut novel tells the story of two sisters, Hana and E...
  • Paul Fulcher
    I am a haenyeo. Like my mother, and her mother before her, like my sister will be one day, her daughters too - I was never anything but a woman of the sea. Neither you nor any man can make me less than that. The beautiful 제주도 (Jeju Island) is perhaps my favourite holiday resort, and one I visit annually (more so I suspect in future as my in-laws are building a hotel there), so it was lovely to read a book set there, particularly one focusin...
  • DeB MaRtEnS
    “White Chrysanthemum” opens the book, figuratively, on the dark history of Japanese soldiers who systematically captured and removed Korean (and other enemy) young women to become “comfort women”, or sex slaves during times of political conflict starting as early as 1931. Emperor Hirohito encouraged the “release” of the “life force” that would supposedly carry the Japanese forces to win in war. This novel is not a complicated one ...
  • Laurel
    When I worked at a small Midwestern liberal arts college, I made the acquaintance of a student whose Korean heritage fed her passion for the halmonis or “grandmothers” and encouraged her to make an extended visit to South Korea and participate in a Wednesday Demonstration. Her interest became mine, albeit less passionately, but I did spend time via the Internet, researching the history of these women, the horrors and injustices inflicted on t...
  • Blodeuedd Finland
    I get the story she wanted to tell, and yes it was good, but the rest was barely ok.Hana gets taken by the Japanese to become a Comfort woman, which is a sex slave. But I never truly had time to connect and every time I felt her plight I was taken away by another POV. Not that I wanted to dwell in the horror of the brothel, but honestly, she was hardly there that long it seemed. If you really wanted to tell a story, make it tough and hard to read...
  • Olga Fry
    White Chrysanthemum is a sweeping novel about the familial ties that bind us, even long after we've been separated. Set in Korea, 1943, two sisters are separated early on because of one's sacrifice. Hana, a haenyeo, a female diver of the sea, has lived her entire life under Japanese occupation. The women have been warned to never find themselves alone with Japanese soliders. During a swim one day, she spots a solider approaching her younger siste...
  • Marie (UK)
    WOW = this is a fabulous book. The taking of Korean women to use as "comfort women" during the Japanese occupation of that country. I had never heard of this situation but Bracht tells it superbly. Told through the eyes of two women experiencing the same event from different perspectives. I cant really do the writing justice it is both simple and complex and draws the reader into the lived experience of the dual narrators. The characters are port...
  • Linda Zagon
    MY REVIEW OF "WHITE CHRYSANTHEMUM" BY Mary Lynn Bracht"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 dur...
  • Stephanie
    4.5 StarsWhite Chrysanthemum, is a one of those well-written, meticulously researched historical fiction books that remind me of why I love reading this genre. While I have spent decades reading novels that take place in Europe during WWII and taken classes in college about WWII, I had no idea of the history of Korean women abducted by Japanese soldiers during WWII and forced into sexual slavery to be“comfort women.” This is without a doubt o...
  • Alison
    It's easy to forget that WWII was not just about the Holocaust and not even just about Pearl Harbor. This book reminds us that the war also raged on in remote places such as Jeju Island off the coast of the Korean Peninsula. Here, Korean girls (astonishingly young girls) were abducted by the Japanese military and forced to be "comfort women" to their soldiers. First of all, the term comfort women makes a mockery of the humiliation and torture the...
  • Gabriela Kozhuharova
    В началото ми се струваше доста "занаятчийски" написана, но постепенно се превърна в наистина въздействаща история, която ме накара да се замисля за страшно много неща. Скоро ще споделя по-подробен отзив.
  • Amy
    Star Rating : 4.5 Stars