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Hope in Hungnam: A Novel of the Korean War Paperback – May 6, 2012
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"I escaped North Korea with my father in 1950 onboard the Meredith Victory. David Watts has written an intricate account... Hope in Hungnam deals with love, hate, forgiveness, tolerance and sacrifice. The author writes as if he were actually there." - Dong Hyuck Won, Refugee on the SS Meredith Victory, December 1950
"Hope in Hungnam captures the heroism of our troops at Chosin Reservoir and their final dramatic escape from Hungnam..." - Merl Smith, Licensed Junior Engineer, SS Meredith Victory
"A touching debut novel... Both a novel of a cold, relentless place and an unlikely love story, it honors the dead and celebrates the lucky living. Earnest in its telling, this story of the Hungnam evacuation asks readers to measure both the terror and humanity of America's forgotten war." - Kirkus Reviews
"I was especially intrigued by Hope in Hungnam's beautifully crafted portraits of the stunning rescue of 14,000 refugees aboard the cargo ship Meredith Victory... an excellent work of historical fiction... very much worth your time to read this compelling story of the Korean War." - Choe Chong-dae, Opinion Article, Korean Times
More About the Author
David holds a B.S. degree in Political Science from the University of Louisville. He is an avid student of history and especially the history of the Korean War - rightly called America's Forgotten War. He has previously published a Kindle collection of short stories titled, The Chase and Other Short Stories.
David is also an accomplished commercial photographer and holds a FAA multi-engine commercial pilot's license
Top Customer Reviews
Watts creates compelling characters in his debut novel, drawing readers in and engaging them in the characters' welfare and the outcome of their choices. Fictional character Jack Stiles is portrayed with depth and sincerity in his principles, whether right or wrong. US Merchant Mariner Captain Leonard P. LaRue, the real-life hero and captain of the USS Meredith Victory, provides the backbone of faith to this story. References to his Christian faith are not overbearing but are shown with true and unwavering conviction. Jang Tae-bok, Stiles's fictional counterpart, is a young North Korean mother to two young boys and sole caregiver to her elderly father. Jang is portrayed respectfully and convincingly and, along with her father, represents the "Korean side" in this story, showing compassion, humility, honor, and determination to do what is right, not easy.Read more ›
Most of the energy of the book is focused on the development of main character Jack: his wants, dreams, and ideals, as explored through war and interactions with the people he meets. along the way. Jack presents at first as very singular in both thought and action, but develops more thh as he observes and experiences the hardships of war. Really, Jack's character could be explored further, particularly as he encounters various challenges along his path. However, readers can easily see growth in Jack's character as he encounters the North Korean family who at first threatens, but then rescues him.
The descriptions of the mission and the philosophical and human costs of war are attended to with care. Readers can easily develop an affinity for the Captain of the SS Meredith Victory, who is truly a hero with a focus on serving his country and those he is protecting in an ethical manner.
The interactions between captain and crew shed light on the very real and difficult decisions that must be made in wartime, and the resulting costs in human life and soul. Indeed, knowing that Hope in Hungnam highlights true events makes reading that much more meaningful.
Overall, I do reccomend the book. The flow of the narrative is probably the greatest strength of the book, allowing readers to be carried along and to care about the story being told.Read more ›
It is inspiring to read about the selflessness of American soldiers who chose to risk their own lives to save the lives of a group of people from a place and culture remote from their own.
It is also one of the most heroic and amazing rescue operations in history. The tragedy is that it is so little known. I think that everyone should read this enjoyable, well-written account of a significant event that unfortunately got sandwiched in between WWII and the Vietnam war and has not received the recognition it deserves.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Aside from being an intensely interesting personal and historical account, this story is deeply moving on a human level. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Amy Montgomery
Hope in Hungnam: A Novel of the Korean War discovers an amazing, true event. Within the darkest realities of war, an incredible story of kindness finally receives the recognition... Read morePublished 3 months ago by James Still
I am not a big history guy, but this book definitely takes the cake. Very interesting and honest view about this historical event. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Eleazar
Hope in Hungnam is a gripping journey of patriotism, honor, courage, love, and heroism. The author does a great job of taking a little know historical event and showcasing its... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kyle Montgomery
Woven into this revealing historical account of a dramatic wartime rescue are all the elements of good literature: highly readable narrative, engaging family and friendship... Read morePublished 11 months ago by julia howard
An amazing story of nobility, sacrifice, and humanity. It is truly a shame today's younger generation is ignorant of the sacrifices our forefathers made, and fail to understand why... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Mustang827
Mr Watts has written a very interesting book on the evacuation of Hungnam. While it is historical fiction, it is also contains the non fictional account of the SS Meredith Victory... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ghostrider E24
Incredible book. I'm a proud American of Korean descent. This book hits hard in so many different dimensions.
Makes me so proud to be an American. Read more