In the 1930s Grace escapes from her abusive father to follow her dream of becoming a star in San Francisco. She meets Helen, and drags her to an audition where they encounter Ruby. The three become fast friends, but all are hiding secrets from their past and are jealous when one becomes more successful than the other. Truths cannot be hidden forever, especially once U.S.A. becomes involved in WW11. Will they remain friends through their triumphs and tragedies?
Yun Ling is the only survivor from a hidden Japanese prison camp in Malaya’s highlands during the second world war. Trying to swallow her hatred of the Japanese, she becomes an apprentice to the skilled Aritomo to learn the techniques of creating a Japanese garden she wishes to dedicate to the sister she lost in the prison camp. But there are secrets she wants to uncover — where was the prison camp she was locked up in for over three years? Where are her sister’s bones? Why has Aritomo never returned to Japan?
This is an insight into Malay before independence and its struggles to overcome WWII and the internal fighting after the war as well as principles in designing a Japanese garden.
In 1943 Hana, a haenyeo rushes from Jeju Island’s sea to save her younger sister, Emi from capture by Japanese soldiers. In her place, Hana is kidnapped and sent on a long journey north to become a comfort woman. But before she arrives at the northern brothel to service Japanese soldiers she is raped by her captor, Morimoto.
This is a well written but a difficult read because the story is based on what happened to from 50 000 to 200 000 Korean women during WW11.
In 1947 when Charlotte’s mother escorts her across to Europe for a discrete abortion in Switzerland, Charlotte escapes on a train to London. She clutches an address in the hope of locating her childhood friend, cousin Rose, who disappeared towards the end of WW11 in France. But behind the door of the address she grips is a broken drunk of a woman and an ex con. Can they help her find her beloved cousin?
This is an exciting read made more fascinating by the author’s use of a number of real characters, women who acted as spies during WW1. As well, she wove real events into this well written fiction.