By William Andrews
An enjoyable read following the story of Anna, a Korean born girl living with her adoptive parents in America. When her mother dies, she travels back to Korea wanting to meet her birth mother. When she is told that her mother is dead, she feels that her search is over before its even begun. Then a stranger hand’s her a small parcel containing a comb and an address. At this address she finds an old, poor yet elegant lady who sits her down and begins her story.
The epic tale begins when the Japanese invade Korea during World War II. The old lady, Hong Jae Hee, fourteen at the time, along with her older sister, were forced to become “comfort women” serving the Japanese soldiers. Hong Jae Hee retells the horror and degradation they suffered at the hands of the abusive soldiers.
Hong Jae Hee here counts how the comb has been kept safe and hidden and passed down through the generations of the family and that now this important legacy has passed to Anna.
This is a tale of courage and resilience shining through a world of darkness and violence.
Reading this novel, you could be forgiven for thinking it was written by a WWII survivor such is the thread of realism running throughout.