"Breathtaking, sad and beautiful. Truly gorgeous and a must-read for lovers of literature and historical fiction." -- Rebecca Charlton
"A touching story, not only about love or the Korean War, but also about our own identities and (re)unification in different forms." - Utopia State of Mind
"I absolutely loved it! It's [a story] about a grandmother's secret life and what she sacrificed to make a better life for her children." --Niyati Mavinkurve
"This is a first-rate piece of writing. It may take some effort on the part of the reader; give it a chance. It is the sort of novel that could take place anywhere in the world, and during any war. Yes, it is very much worth reading." --Paul Lappan
"Personal and deeply something, this book is one of memory, family and an unforgotten history that is easily forgotten by those on the outside who stopped looking in. The stories narrated are heart-breaking, heart-warming, shocking and informative, with an eloquent political debate laced through the prose. A recommended read for those who enjoy hard hitting historical novels and memoirs." --Melissa
"This was such a great book, one that doesn't even hit you till the last page." --Utopia State of Mind
From the Author
This story is inspired by an actual event in my grandmother's life. At the age of seven, my grandmother stumbled on an underground bunker at her school where she found a particularly white sheet of paper. Without understanding the contents of the page, she had taken that peculiar sheet home. Her brother later discovered it to be a communist pamphlet and contacted the authorities, leading to the arrest and execution of over thirty communists, including my grandmother's own teacher. For years after, my grandmother's brother was on the run from family members of those executed that day.
Pieces of the plot have also been taken from my experience translating from U.S. and Filipino veterans of the Korean War who were visiting Korea at the time. The little boy "Zion" in the story is dedicated to one Filipino soldier who had come back to Korea in search of his Korean "errand boy" during the war. At the time, no newspaper or journalist was interested in an interview with a Filipino soldier. I am indebted to these nameless soldiers.