A Comfort Woman's Story
- Paperback: 350 pages
- Publisher: MADhouse Press LLC (January 10, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0991395859
- ISBN-13: 978-0991395859
SUMMARY (from Amazon)
2014 IPPY Award Winner. DURING WORLD WAR II, the Japanese forced 200,000 young Korean women to be sex slaves or “comfort women” for their soldiers. This is one woman’s riveting story of strength, courage and promises kept. In 1943, the Japanese tear young Ja-hee and her sister from their peaceful family farm to be comfort women for the Imperial Army. Before they leave home, their mother gives them a magnificent antique comb with an ivory inlay of a two-headed dragon, saying it will protect them. The sisters suffer terribly at the hands of the Japanese, and by the end of the war, Ja-hee must flee while her sister lies dying. Ja-hee keeps her time as a comfort woman a secret while she struggles to rebuild her life. She meets a man in North Korea who shows her what true love is. But the communists take him away in the middle of the night, and she escapes to the South. There, she finally finds success as the country rebuilds after the Korean War. However when her terrible secret is revealed, she’s thrown into poverty. In the depths of despair, she’s tempted to sell the comb with the two-headed dragon that she believes has no magic for her. Then one day she discovers its true meaning and her surprising heredity. And now she must find the only person who can carry on the legacy of the two-headed dragon… someone she abandoned years ago. Set within the tumultuous backdrop of 20th century Korea, Daughters of the Dragon by award-winning author William Andrews will make you cry and cheer for Ja-hee. And in the end, you’ll have a better understanding of the Land of the Morning Calm. Daughters of the Dragon is inspired by The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini, Memiors of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, the books of Amy Tan and Lisa See.
Bill Andrews has a personal connection to Korea - his only child who arrived from the Land of the Morning Calm as a cheerful, smart four-month-old. Since then, Bill has been fascinated by Korea.
For over 30 years, Bill was a copywriter and a marketing/brand executive with several Fortune 500 companies. For fifteen of the more painful years, he ran his own advertising agency. At night and on weekends and sometimes during the workday, Bill wrote fiction. Bill's first novel titled THE ESSENTIAL TRUTH (coming out later in 2014)won first place in the Mayhaven Contest for unpublished fiction.
Today, Bill is retired and focuses on his writing. He lives in Minneapolis with his lovely wife, an inner-city public school teacher for 32 years. And Bill proudly reports that the cheerful, smart four-month old is now an orthopedic surgeon.
I found the book to be quite an education on the history of Korea, The book was very well researched. Things such as Empress Mveongseong, Japanese occupation, military interventions in WWII and the countless millions who died or were left with out homes. The story is told by the voice of Ja-hee, a "comfort woman". The story is based around a 14 year old taken from her family to service the Japanese military. She is strong and survives because of that strength. She was very smart, lots of courage and lots of strength. The author introduces us to her ancestors, her family and the descendants. Returning to Korea, her grand daughter is in search of her birth mother. Here is the person who will tell Jah-ee's story to the world. The book at times is very emotional, the characters are well developed, and as you read the book, you find that it is about history that should not be repeated.
The longer you read, the harder it is to put the book down. The descriptions are very vivid which brings the story to reality. Historical truths can be quite sad and this was definitely one of them. But all in all it had to be told. The book is about struggling to survive. Lovely cover.
I was given a complimentary copy of DAUGHTERS OF THE DRAGON from the author William Andrews for my view of the book. No other compensation took place.
I would give this book 4 STARS.