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The novel itself as a whole was one that was enjoyable. There were times that I felt the pacing grew a bit slack, and the imagery became a bit dull. However, when the pace did pick up, it was worth it. The novel is woven intricately with the story of picture brides. It sheds insight on a phenomenon that is not widely talked about, and does so in a manner that makes reading it all the more interesting. The novel is definitely on the better side of historical fiction that I have read. The writing is captivating and enthralling. The Korean independence takes a background stance while Willow, the main character, works out her personal life-- being uprooted and forced to marry a man who doesn't want marriage. Willow's struggle and perseverance in this new world that she has been thrust into is admirable, and that shines through in Geum Yi's writing. Overall, I would give this novel a 3.5 stars. There were parts that could have been better done, but overall this book hits the spot.