book cover of White Chrysanthemum
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White Chrysanthemum

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
2019 Waverton Good Read Award

For fans of Lisa Wingate’s Before We Were Yours and Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko, a deeply moving novel that follows two Korean 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 is herself captured and transported to Manchuria. There she is forced to become a “comfort woman” in a Japanese military brothel. But haenyeo are women of power and strength. She will find her way home.

South Korea, 2011. Emi has spent more than sixty years trying to forget the sacrifice her sister made, but she must confront the past to discover peace. Seeing the healing of her children and her country, can Emi move beyond the legacy of war to find forgiveness?

Suspenseful, hopeful, and ultimately redemptive, White Chrysanthemum tells a story of two sisters whose love for each other is strong enough to triumph over the grim evils of war.


Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"I read Hana and Emi's story with my heart in my mouth... A bold, devastating, important novel shot through with hope and beauty." - Rachel Joyce

"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." - Xiaolu Guo


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