A.B. Morgan’s Reviews > White Chrysanthemum
Goodness me! It is a long time since a book has haunted me emotionally in the way this one has done. I cannot stop thinking about it.
White Chrysanthemum by Mary Lynn Bracht is a beautifully written book which is set to the backdrop of a little known part of recent history. Until I read this book and was fortunate enough to listen to the author speak at a summer literary festival, I knew nothing of the “comfort women” – young girls wrenched from their homes and families in Korea to be used as commodities by the Japanese army to service their soldiers during the second world war. Indeed I had only vague knowledge of Korea’s troubled past.
The author uses the power of fiction to tell the story of two sisters whose lives are forever changed by war and cultural devastation. The language used is simple yet somehow poetic and completely draws the reader into the determined struggle of the two main characters. It is told in the third person present and alternates between time periods with such ease that the reader is driven to turn the pages and follow the path the two sisters take.
There were times when my heart ached, tears welled up and when I sought a quiet place not to be disturbed in order to disappear into the book. If Mary Lynn Bracht never writes another novel she can rest easy,this one is an immense credit to her writing ability and her commitment to tell the story of the women so badly wronged. Highly recommended.