Najin doesn’t want to live a traditional Korean life, but her father tries to force her into a marriage with an aristocratic family. Her mother, defying the obedient wife tradition, arranges a position for her in the king’s court as a companion to a young princess. With Japan’s control over the country and the dying monarchy, Najin’s life becomes oppressive. When she unexpectedly finds love, they are soon separated and she must face Japan’s attack on China and Pearl Harbour while her husband is an ocean away.
In the early 1900s when Sunja falls pregnant, she refuses to be mistress to a wealthy man she discovers is already married. Instead she accepts an offer of marriage from a minister and they soon leave Korea for Japan.
This is a four generational tale exploring Japan’s attitude towards Koreans as well as the family’s struggles to survive. A compelling story.