In 1918, Willow, Hongju, and Songhwa travel from their home in Korea to Hawaii as picture brides with the dream of marrying, continuing their education, and prospering in America. Ultimately, this did not happen and they were in fact married off to men many years their senior with no prospect of education. The story primarily centers on Willow, who was abandoned by her husband and forced to make a living while raising their family.
This story is rich in friendship, self determination, and beating the odds. These three women had a strong bond and their stories shed light on life in Hawaii during Korea’s fight for independence, WW I, and WW II.
I was initially drawn to the gorgeous cover art, which captivated my attention. I also enjoyed the writing style and how the story flashed forward to a bit of perspective from Willow’s daughter, Pearl.
Sincere thanks to BookishFirst and Forge Books for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.