In 1917 Willow and her best friend Hongju were set on becoming picture brides from Korea. Along with Songhwa who had been bullied for being the granddaughter of a shaman. Throughout the book they did remain friends but endured so many hardships. They had a matchmaker in their village that helped them send their pictures to Korean men that were already in Hawaii working on plantations. Some of them were obviously old pictures and false information. When the three of them arrived inland Willow was the only one of them with a man that was close to her age. But he treated her so indifferent for awhile that it was almost too much for Willow. She was mainly going so she could get educated but as it turned out she had to work hard just to scratch out a living.
These three women were unbelievably strong in so many ways. Leaving their home country and going so far away, giving birth with no family around. Working with a child on your back, the way people treated them. I had never heard of the picture brides so this was such an interesting read but very emotional.
I received this ARC from Bookish First and the publisher Forge for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.