Lovely Historical Fiction

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shradha rawat Avatar


"The Picture Bride" is an elegant piece of historical fiction, telling the story of Korean picture brides in Hawaii, women chosen by Asian laborers to be brides based solely on pictures and letters exchanged across the ocean. I was somewhat familiar with the practice in part because it was similar to the history of Chinese laborers in California, where I am from, and also because it is so similar to the mail-order/arranged marriage business currently thriving among modern Indian communities, to which I belong.

What I appreciated about "The Picture Bride" is that it was not bound to the stereotypical story of a deceptive marriage that only provides heartbreak to the bride. Some of the protagonist's friends did indeed experience this, but most of the focus was on the culture clash between Korea and twentieth century Hawaii. The result reminded me much of "Molokai," another historical fiction favorite of mine.