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I thoroughly enjoyed this book The plot was engaging, the characters likable, and the ability of the author to describe the world s she builds is impressive.Without giving too much away I write this review specifically to avoid plot elements, and character development , I would like to give a brief synopsis The story that unfolds is that of two people or rather three people We first meet our narrator Kim Jia who narrates to us the reader how she came to learn of her grandmother s past, I thoroughly enjoyed this book The plot was engaging, the characters likable, and the ability of the author to describe the world s she builds is impressive.Without giving too much away I write this review specifically to avoid plot elements, and character development , I would like to give a brief synopsis The story that unfolds is that of two people or rather three people We first meet our narrator Kim Jia who narrates to us the reader how she came to learn of her grandmother s past, and her journey to find all that she could about a place, and a person who has not only been lost to time, but even to the memories of the only one left to know them before they would be lost forever.We are soon introduced to our protagonist Ji Iseul, the same grandmother, though no longer an old woman dying in a nursing home, but transformed into a young, and feisty daughter of a carpenter living at the outskirts of the small farming village of Yeoju in the once united nation of Korea Within just a few pages she will meet Jung Soo a spoiled, annoying child who finds out almost instantly he has met the one person he cannot boss around The Prince of the Golden Palace has been bested by a carpenters daughter.This story is not really about the Korean War, though it does propel the events, This story is really about two people three if we count our guide Kim Jia , who history would never remember, but who driven by events beyond their control, strive to not be controlled by fate, by circumstance, or by the legacy of their family name it is easy to love Iseul, to admire her strength, andimportantly to want to know what secrets shrouded in the cloudy corners of her mind Jung Soo is transformed from a spoiled brat into a adult seeking to be his own man, and to protect the one person for whom he would give anything up for, even his own reputation and memory.The journey these two take, together and apart, is fascinating, the numerous secondary, and tertiary characters are all well developed, and I promise you will grow attached and fond of many of them And hopefully you will keep reading, hoping to unlock the past on the next piece of aged and browned paper When I began thinking of how I would construct this review something struck me, a similarity with All Quiet on the Western Front In many ways I found this story to be a spiritual successor to that book, and I believe it can have the same impact on readers as Remarque s book had on myself, if you l allow me a few minutes to digress from my review I first read All Quiet on the Western Front as a child, I was introduced to a group of characters German soldiers fighting on the western front of the First World War, the story was not really about the war, but about the lives of the boys, who became men, who fought, and died in the trenches of France That book started what really became a life long interest in the First World War I even wrote my thesis about the war tangentially My fascination and interest with that conflict grew out of that book, and its description not of the battles but of the humanity of the characters involvedThis takes me back to Forgotten Reflections and the Korean War, The Korean War for many, people especially in the west America is really The Forgotten War The reasons for this could fill a book twice as long as Reflections , but I think it had much to do with world wide exhaustion from the previous conflict, a thankfully much small causality numbers for every nation that wasn t Korea and China , and the fact it and yes this is a vast over simplification didn t accomplish anything, the country is still split to this day There was no Hitler to defeat, and there were no Churchill s or Roosevelt s the world could laud Everywhere outside of the Peninsula, the war happened, then the fighting stopped and things never changed people moved on.There are no Saving Private Ryan s , or Patton s about Korea, the most we ever got was M A S H , and while that was set during the Korean war, it was clearly about Vietnam The war wasn t taught in detail if at all in school.people simply forgot.I believe what Young Im Lee has done, if not her intention, is tell a story that could be the impetus for a reawakening of the public imagination and interest in the Korean War, a desire to find out the truth about the real Jung Soo s and Iseul s that lived and died in the mountains of Korea during those years In the interest of disclosure the author provided a copy of this book, to ask for an honest review With the world s current tensions around Korea s divided land, Young Im Lee s Forgotten Reflections is perhaps a timely tale It s a story of contrasting worlds, the Korea of the past with its candle lights and the present day world of high rise inhabitants gazing down on the tail lights of cars The young protagonist s grandmother, a survivor of the Korean War, has moved into a high rise home But a treasured possession reveals the first clue in a curious secret, sending the granddaughter eager With the world s current tensions around Korea s divided land, Young Im Lee s Forgotten Reflections is perhaps a timely tale It s a story of contrasting worlds, the Korea of the past with its candle lights and the present day world of high rise inhabitants gazing down on the tail lights of cars The young protagonist s grandmother, a survivor of the Korean War, has moved into a high rise home But a treasured possession reveals the first clue in a curious secret, sending the granddaughter eagerly seeking for.Author Young Im Lee has a deft ability to present explanations without interrupting the story, a skill that s invaluable in bringing to life the world of old Korea Both sides in the battle believe their cause is just as worthy enough to die for, and a sardonic warrior responds, Some world we live in Perhaps it hasn t changed.The story weaves past and present, and carries readers to village and palace, to a mystery of hidden wealth in a land where it s no longer clear who is master and who is slave The Japanese are gone The Americans are coming, or the Communists, or If, like me, you re watching Ken Burns Vietnam, you ll have even of a sense of d j vu the world doesn t change I enjoyed the vivid depiction of different lives in a different world, the evocative recreation of different ideals, and the genuine blend of mystery, danger and romance Forgotten reflections reflects on the past, invites readers into past lives, and in turn points its mirror to the present A skillful tale whose occasional minor typos or mistranslations are easily forgiven, it s highly recommended.Disclosure I was given an ecopy and I offer my honest review Forgotten Reflections by Young Im Lee is described on its cover in small script as A War Story True, a large part of the story is centered around the Korean War for which an armistice to end fighting was signed in 1953 As many leaders in modern day governments point out, there has not yet been an agreement to end the war signed Much of the action described in the book takes place in a time between the Japanese Army leaving Korea after WWII and 1953 The overall context is a story about peop Forgotten Reflections by Young Im Lee is described on its cover in small script as A War Story True, a large part of the story is centered around the Korean War for which an armistice to end fighting was signed in 1953 As many leaders in modern day governments point out, there has not yet been an agreement to end the war signed Much of the action described in the book takes place in a time between the Japanese Army leaving Korea after WWII and 1953 The overall context is a story about people surviving a war, extreme hardship and poverty, and constant hunger while at the same time living a life of social relationships that include love, a sense of duty, and faithfulness to one another.Ji Iseul is the center of the story When the reader first meets her, she is being moved to a senior citizen hospice She can no longer be cared for at home because the steady advance of Alzheimers requiresconstant care than members of her immediate family can provide One member of that family, granddaughter Jia, remembers a time when Iseul could tell stories, a time when Iseul was coherent She helped Iseul move to the new community and remembered to bring Iseul s guitar to the new home When Iseul was not staring out a window at city lights, she would stare at the guitar and occasionally mutter a name, Yeong Hoon The granddaughter found a very old letter secreted inside the guitar that matched some similarly old documents at her home Further examination of the documents and reflection on the names Iseul muttered led the granddaughter on a journey to the village where Iseul grew up in order to find outabout her family history.The village where Ji Iseul grew up didn t have a name, only a nickname, the Wastelands Life was bleak and centered on survival Rice and anything that could be eaten with it or in place of it occupied villagers thoughts A barter economy allowed Iseul to trade firewood she collected for food from a house that served as the village restaurant Her father was a carpenter as she would later be, although her skills advanced to the point of making guitars rather than furniture There is a fascinating account of how she came to make paper, a skill she would years later use in support of anti communist military factions during the Korean War The story of Ji Iseul s life takes priority over a story of military battles even though she is involved in some of them.Ji Iseul, Jung Soo, and Yeong Hoon are three characters who drive the story They, their discourse, and behavior with subordinate characters reveal much about social relationships The Korea described is a stereotypical patriarchy Iseul s father was proud of her because she could and was willing to work like a man The person making paper was looked down upon through expressions such as At least I am not a papermaker At various points in the account Iseul s gender was questioned, In other words, she wasn t beautiful at one point in the account she was described as averagely attractive And she along with almost everyone in the village were desperately poor Except for Jung soo He was the son of a man who profited from the Japanese occupation of Korea by acting as a tax collector for them Taxes were to be paid in rice and Jung Soo s father made sure villagers paid as much as possible Not all taxes collected went to the Japanese Enough was kept back to build the finest house in the village Named the Golden Palace, it had electricity, the only house to have it Jung Soo lived there with his personal bodyguard and servants His father was gone a lot some villagers thought he might be engaged in secret political and economic activities with communists in North Korea Nevertheless, money talks and when Jung Soo s father visited the village, his word was law When he was not in residence Jung Soo, with the help of his bodyguard, was in charge Heong Yoon is our third central character A helper in the furniture shop of Iseul s father, he was betrothed to Iseul in an arranged marriage Readers will get the impression that the mildly crippled Heong Yoon always loved Iseul and wanted to remain in a close relationship with her even when he saw signs of romance between Iseul and Jung Soo.This is a novel of sadness, resignation, and bleak despair It is filtered through an ill defined cultural screen that the author describes after the end of the story Young Im Lee writes that she is not a typical Korean She left the country one year after her birth for the Philippines Her BA is from a Korean University, her MA is from the UK, she lives in Seoul, Korea As a multicultural citizen of the world, she has received criticism for not being Korean enough and for being too Korean Her reflections and disclaimer after the end of the story are valuable in explaining how the characters of her novel behave This is not a book I would have expected if it were written by a Korean in the Korean language and then translated into English At the same time, I would not expect a book like this to be written by a US born Korean with only outside knowledge of the country It would be good to pay attention to the author s afterwords This is not a happy book I cannot think of the ending as a good one There is so much gloom in the story that a reader might feel it is time to just give it up and go to the Han River bridge What follows are a few of the passages that evoked the most empathy or sympathy from me.In a reflection on war, Iseul thinks about how much she wants things to return to before the war Hyeong Soon answers Before this war, the Japanese were here Before the Japanese, the Chinese had always been on our doorsteps How far back should we go Goryeo, Joseon Dynasties p.264.Here is an observation on Alzheimers The mind is a ruthless thing, wasting away quickly, but just slow enough to be aware that something is amiss p.127.This is Iseul at the end of her life in the hospice She saw herself as she was a bitter old woman, dying alone as her children toiled and toiled out there in the bright lights for their own children to one day toil somep.492.This is from the author s closing remarks on Korea We are a nation of survivors who somehow made it out the other end and kept going, just waiting for the next bomb to drop p.511.This is also from the author s closing remarks on class and status We are a nation running on the fumes of men who think their status, age and money is wisdom incarnate p 517 This observation is not confined to Korea My note.SUMMARY This is a long book worth reading carefully Readers might be amazed at the resilience of ordinary people forced to rely on themselves in the face of horrible events that seem to go on without end Readers might also be appreciative of their lives in less restrictive societies Forgotten Reflections reflects the lives of two people, the author, Young Im Lee and her maternal grandmother, Iseul Iseul was a feisty, rural carpenter, whose love of guitar music and the help and encouragement of several men in her life, led her to build a renowned, international guitar making business which lifted her and her family from poverty.The story begins with Iseul around 12 encountering Yung Soo, an entitled rich kid She will not back down and her obliviousness about tact, endear Forgotten Reflections reflects the lives of two people, the author, Young Im Lee and her maternal grandmother, Iseul Iseul was a feisty, rural carpenter, whose love of guitar music and the help and encouragement of several men in her life, led her to build a renowned, international guitar making business which lifted her and her family from poverty.The story begins with Iseul around 12 encountering Yung Soo, an entitled rich kid She will not back down and her obliviousness about tact, endears her to him as well as to her father s apprentice, Yeong Hoon The three become fast friends.The Korean War separates them Yung Soo s father is sympathetic with the North and following a tragedy in their home town, Yung Soo is branded a traitor He changes his family name from Ham to Kim and joins the South Korean army He is teamed up with a soldier named Dae Gun who he considers an idiot and they are tasked as spies Slowly, Yung Soon gains respect for his partner, who as it happens, carries a guitar with him and speaks English.Iseul befriends a woman who did not like her and together, they make paper to send to South Korean soldiers so they can write home Other village women join them and this group of women make enough paper to meet the needs of much of the South Korean army.During most of the book, I wondered who did Iseul marry Yeong Hoon to whom she was betrothed or Ham Yung Soon The latter would seem the obvious choice since he was rich The author does a masterful job at keeping the reader guessing until the end.The story unfolds because Iseul s granddaughter becomes interested in unraveling her grandmother s past after finding an old letter hidden in a guitar in her grandmother s room in a high rise home Neglecting her studies for the national exam which determines which college one attends, the author seeks to find and speak with people who knew her grandmother Not going to say muchso I don t ruin the story.This story was compelling to me for several reasons It provides a prospective on the Korean War from a Korean civilian s perspective.It is very timely given the ongoing North Korean crisis.It suggests strong, independent women, like the author s grandmother, were influential and respected in South Korea even 67 years ago something I found surprising but welcome.The book s translation into English is rough in places, but doesn t adversely affect the storytelling.My main criticism is the author does not define key Korean words, like han Considering Google does not have an accurate definition and the meaning of han is key to fully understanding the story, I am forced to drop a star A one page glossary would have helped the author s readers to better understand Korea All in all, I found Forgotten Reflections a good read I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review All opinions are my own A tragic, emotional and powerful story about the reality of war and its impact on both a nation and the everyday people living through that war takes center stage in author Young Im Lee s Forgotten Reflections A War Story Here s the synopsis In the current international climate where North Korea takes center stage, Forgotten Reflections weaves an inspirational tale of family, lost memories I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review All opinions are my own A tragic, emotional and powerful story about the reality of war and its impact on both a nation and the everyday people living through that war takes center stage in author Young Im Lee s Forgotten Reflections A War Story Here s the synopsis In the current international climate where North Korea takes center stage, Forgotten Reflections weaves an inspirational tale of family, lost memories, folklore and an unforgotten history, spanning three generations as South Korea rises from the ashes DARE TO DREAM IN THE MIDST OF WAR 1945 Rice fields seem endless in a quaint farming village of South Korea, yet Iseul the villagers have been starving for as long as they can remember Their Japanese colonizers have taken every last grain with them as they are finally forced out of the Peninsula In the newly independent Korea, Iseul and Jung Soo dream of what their future might bring Yet, war is on the horizon, and Iseul has fallen for an alleged North Korean communist spy.Men are conscripted and rice is taken to feed the growing army as the Peninsula is thrust into an international war that would determine if the strategic region will become communist or democratic With nothing but the news of death and hunger awaiting the village of women, children and the aged, Iseul musters up whatever hope she has left to bring the village together to make paper Soon, the village once known for its rice, becomes famous for its paper, becoming a beacon of hope for their battle worn soldiers awaiting letters from their loved ones Yet spies and communists continue to roam South Korea, turning neighbors and families against one another For years, Jung Soo has been suspicious of his father s allegiances With a series of mysterious revelations about his father, Jung Soo is forced to choose between his tainted communist past, and the future he hopes to have with Iseul after the war.I have to say, this was one of the most emotional stories I ve read in recent years The true heartbreak of the impact of war is felt throughout each and every page of this story Never has a book beenrelevant, as the struggle between North and Souther Korea and the rest of the world continues to be a constant focus in our world today The struggle of those innocent soldiers and simple villagers looking to survive made this story have an incredibly huge impact The relationship between Iseul and Jung Soo is the emotional core of this tale, and the modern day mystery of what happened to the two friends and romantic partners keeps the reader hanging by every page The writing was beautifully done While the book is a long one, nearly 600 pages , the story is so enrapturing that you find yourself drawn further and further in The most impactful thing about this book however is while the setting is incredibly vivid and highlights the struggle of both North and South Korean citizens back during the war, but it shows the affects of war in general The heartbreak, the tragedy and the impact the constant death and struggle has on both soldiers and citizens alike Overall this was an incredible read Filled with emotional connections you don t always find in historical fiction and with a lesson on love and trust, this is a must read for any historical fiction fans out there If you haven t yet, be sure to read author Young Im Lee s Forgotten Reflections A War Story today this was such a great book, one that doesn t even hit you till the last page I loved the way it s narrated, and how it switches between not only past and present but also people additionally the plot was incredibly twisty and whenever I thought it would be it, there was another surprise, the ending being the biggest it was great to read and spend time in this historical fiction novel disclaimer I was sent this book by the author in exchange for an honest reviewfull review this was such a great book, one that doesn t even hit you till the last page I loved the way it s narrated, and how it switches between not only past and present but also people additionally the plot was incredibly twisty and whenever I thought it would be it, there was another surprise, the ending being the biggest it was great to read and spend time in this historical fiction novel disclaimer I was sent this book by the author in exchange for an honest reviewfull review Forgotten Reflections is by far one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time.The premise is this Jia, a Korean girl about to graduate from high school and take the national exam, suddenly takes a strong interest in her dying grandmother s past The story of Jia s research is told alongside the actual life of her grandmother, Iseul, in alternating chapters As it turns out, Granny Iseul played an important though relatively unnoticeable role in the Korean War As the reader and J Forgotten Reflections is by far one of the most interesting books I have read in a long time.The premise is this Jia, a Korean girl about to graduate from high school and take the national exam, suddenly takes a strong interest in her dying grandmother s past The story of Jia s research is told alongside the actual life of her grandmother, Iseul, in alternating chapters As it turns out, Granny Iseul played an important though relatively unnoticeable role in the Korean War As the reader and Jia learn the pieces to Iseul s story, Jia compares their lives and contemplates whether the nation her Granny and so many others fought for is truly the same as the one she lives in today.It is impossible to give muchof an introduction synopsis without revealing any spoilers, but believe me there isdepth to this book than what I have said The mysteries Jia uncovers in her Granny s past spiral out in many directions, having far reaching effects in the lives of many people.The two alternating story lines weave together nicely Thethe reader learns about Iseul s past, thethey understand the clues that Jia discovers It is interesting to compare the two girls, as we see them when they are approximately the same age in very different times and places, within the same culture but separated by enough time to feel out of touch with one another Because the author does such a good job of wrapping up each section before jumping either backwards or forwards in time, there were several times that I thought I was almost finished with the book, when in reality there was still quite a bit left That s the struggle of eBooks, I suppose However, this bookthan others seemed to drag on I cannot quite pinpoint why, as the story was intriguing and I did always want to know what happened next It just seemed like it kept going on and on when I should have gotten to the end already.There were also a few logical leaps within the story that I struggled to follow For instance, there was an instance where a new character was introduced, and he already seemed to know moderately personal things about the protagonists which I expected would have to be explained Additionally, I struggled occasionally with the breaks from one perspective to another within a single setting There were times where a single line break transitioned the reader from one character s perspective to that of another, which caused me a little confusion and required going back and rereading the lines to make sure I knew what was going on and who was directing the flow of the story at the moment However, my biggest issue with Forgotten Reflections is the grammar I do not by any means want to be harsh about this, as I am pretty certain that English is not the author s first language, but it slowed me down significantly while reading The story itself was good, and the author s voice was distinct, but it seemed like the book could use a fewruns through editing.I am giving Forgotten Reflections a hesitant three stars, as the story was good but the readability was very difficult I would recommend this book to anyone who has a casual interest in the history of the Korean War from a civilian perspective, or who would appreciate a tale of historical mysteries alongside one girl s coming of age Seoul, South Korea Ji Iseul 84, Granny Alzheimer s was in the Sky Hospice Center.Ms Jia Iseul 17, student came to see her quite often Yeong Hoon Jung Soo s father, cripple is Iseul s fianc Jia Iseul also made daily wood deliveries to other Korean PPL.The news broadcaster informed the citizens the UN Secretary General will be sending American military troops to the Korean Peninsula to help aid the Chinese the Soviet Union forces What did Jia Iseul find out when she went to Yeoju, S Seoul, South Korea Ji Iseul 84, Granny Alzheimer s was in the Sky Hospice Center.Ms Jia Iseul 17, student came to see her quite often Yeong Hoon Jung Soo s father, cripple is Iseul s fianc Jia Iseul also made daily wood deliveries to other Korean PPL.The news broadcaster informed the citizens the UN Secretary General will be sending American military troops to the Korean Peninsula to help aid the Chinese the Soviet Union forces What did Jia Iseul find out when she went to Yeoju, Seoul, South Korea small farming village, rice capital 10 17, Code blue, code blue Flat line Ji Iseul time was up What later happened to the Captain of the Guard Private Kim Jung Soo had joined the Republic of Korea Armed Forces was in the 18th Infantry.Massacres at the Han River bridge Nakdong River had taken many lives Ham Young Communist Brigade Leader was burned alive.Commander Lee requested to see Private Kim Jung Soo Park Dae Gun orphan.He had promoted them to liaison officers Kim Jung Soo Park Dae Gun will be stationed at the U.N basecamp with the 5th Cavalry Regiment.They both will retrieve translate decipher the encrypted codes from the North Korea Army Then the information will be given to Commander Rogers Sergeant James Jones, Captain Gonzales Zion an orphan boy welcomed the 2 of them.Lieutenant Smith, Sergeant Richard Martin welcomed 2 other Korean soldiers Gil Dong, Doo Hyung, to the base camp also Kim Jung Soo 18th Infantry division screamed into the radio transmitter North Korean forces are headed to Yeoju Retreat Retreat.Iseul noona f was an orphan Mr Lim scholar did his best to entertain teach the youngster educational stuff Much later as shots were being fired Mr Lim was heading for Iseul Yeong Hoon f.Ham Jung Soo, Doo Hyung North Korean Gil Dong North Korean were trying to not get killed.They needed to get to the Golden Palace warehouse where the enigma machine was.What was Dae Gun translating that Commander Lee was saying to both Iseul noona Commander Rogers I did not receive any type of compensation for reading reviewing this book While I receive free books from publishers authors, I am under no obligation to write a positive review, only an honest one All thoughts opinions are entirely my own.A very awesome book cover, great font writing style Wow, a very well written historical fiction book It was very easy for me to read follow from start finish never a dull moment There were no grammar typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists turns a great set of unique characters to keep track of This could also make another great Korean war movie, or better yet a mini TV series Kind of tough to follow but I will defiantly rate it at 5 stars Thank you for the free Goodreads Making Connections Author PDF book Tony Parsons MSW Washburn (FREE PDF) Û Forgotten Reflections: A War Story ß In the current international climate where North Korea takes center stage, Forgotten Reflections weaves an inspirational tale of family, lost memories, folklore and an unforgotten history, spanning three generations as South Korea rises from the ashes DARE TO DREAM IN THE MIDST OF WARRice fields seem endless in a quaint farming village of South Korea, yet Iseul the villagers have been starving for as long as they can remember Their Japanese colonizers have taken every last grain with them as they are finally forced out of the Peninsula In the newly independent Korea, Iseul and Jung Soo dream of what their future might bring Yet, war is on the horizon, and Iseul has fallen for an alleged North Korean communist spyMen are conscripted and rice is taken to feed the growing army as the Peninsula is thrust into an international war that would determine if the strategic region will become communist or democratic With nothing but the news of death and hunger awaiting the village of women, children and the aged, Iseul musters up whatever hope she has left to bring the village together to make paper Soon, the village once known for its rice, becomes famous for its paper, becoming a beacon of hope for their battle worn soldiers awaiting letters from their loved ones Yet spies and communists continue to roam South Korea, turning neighbors and families against one another For years, Jung Soo has been suspicious of his father s allegiances With a series of mysterious revelations about his father, Jung Soo is forced to choose between his tainted communist past, and the future he hopes to have with Iseul after the war 1945 ended WWII and South Korea is still recovering from the Japanese Occupation Anything that was edible was stolen by Japanese troops, therefore the poverty and struggles of farmers and local businesses is an ever present, poignant reminder of the terrors of war Ji Iseul, Jung Soo and Yeong Hoon are the three main characters in the story, which changes from present to past repeatedly Ji Iseul initially is an elderly person being moved into a hospice as she is suffering from advanced Alzheim 1945 ended WWII and South Korea is still recovering from the Japanese Occupation Anything that was edible was stolen by Japanese troops, therefore the poverty and struggles of farmers and local businesses is an ever present, poignant reminder of the terrors of war Ji Iseul, Jung Soo and Yeong Hoon are the three main characters in the story, which changes from present to past repeatedly Ji Iseul initially is an elderly person being moved into a hospice as she is suffering from advanced Alzheimer s disease The granddaughter Jia encourages her to tell what she can remember, inspired by a guitar that sits in the corner of her grandmother s room An old piece of paper is found inside the guitar and that is the catalyst that makes the memories return to Iseul The relationship between the three characters is depicted as a close one, although the reader is never sure whether a romance is developing or not between Iseul and Jung Soo Iseul is not that attractive but instead is admired by her father because she is such a hard work at making paper, a task that is quite difficult Jung Soo s father is a rich man forcing the neighborhood to pay high taxes and living in a rich man s home known as The Golden Palace Yeong Hoof is crippled but works hard for ISIL s father He is betrothed to Iseul but nothing further comes of that until the Korean War.The life of the Koreans before and after the Korean War is a hard one, fraught with poverty and suspicion One character, it is believed, steals rice that the people desperately need American soldiers are portrayed as caring one minute but callous to the needs of the people the next During war, some can leave without worrying about the future of the people left behind.This isn t a comforting story but it s a necessary one The author writes an epilogue about the Korean people being victims who have not truly decided what their country should be, democratic, communist, or otherwise They believewar will come Whether that happens or not, this is a novel for the world to read, to realize that work, relationships and growth with change is vital for a people to become secure in themselves and not always dependent on the prevailing opponent waiting to devourof a victimized South Korea Recommended, despite some minor flaws in plotting, historical fiction