In 1918, after learning about what a "picture bride" is and the wonderful life she will have with luxuries and opportunities Willows mom wants her daughter become one. There's no need to live here, in Korea, in poverty, with no future for her here, when in Hawaii she can have everything!!! Willow doesn't want to do it, marry a stranger, somebody she doesn't know, she wants to stay home with her mother and little brother. She's already lost her father and big brother, and doesn't want the possibility of losing them also. Her best friend, Hongju learns about it and after what she just went through, she's all for it. With all those luxuries out there, why stay here? With that, Willow and Hongju decide to go. They meet Songhwa the night before the ship sets sail, and they are heading to Hawaii. When they arrive, they were shocked to see what's there, or actually not there. Stepping off to meet their husbands they wind up in tears, many of the brides to be do. They haven't arrived to this great world, they have arrived to nothing but lies. Pictures of the bridegrooms are lies, their descriptions are lies, their expectations are lies, everything they've been told about were all lies!
After her deep research, the author was able to create a very accurate and great historical fiction of lives she learned about and I found it very interesting. I have seen documentaries that have talked about picture brides, but not just from one country, but many. Each country that had them had different ways of life, so not much was really learned except they did walk into something different than what they were expecting, but not as deep as this. With her research going into such a deeper detail it kept me turning the pages.
I want to thank Forge Books and BookishFirst for a physical ARC copy of the book for my honest review.