Daughters of the Dragon: A Comfort Woman's Story

Daughters of the Dragon: A Comfort Woman's Story

by William Andrews


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When twenty-year-old Anna Carlson travels from America to a Korean orphanage to locate her birth mother, she’s devastated to learn the woman is already dead. But just when it seems her search is over, a stranger hands her a parcel containing an antique comb—and an address.

That scrap of paper leads Anna to the Seoul apartment of the poor yet elegant Hong Jae-hee. Jae-hee recounts an epic tale that begins with the Japanese occupation of Korea and China during World War II, when more than two hundred thousand Korean women were forced to serve the soldiers as “comfort women.” Jae-hee knows the story well—she was one of them.

As Jae-hee’s narrative unfolds, Anna discovers that the precious tortoiseshell comb, with its two-headed ivory dragon, has survived against all odds through generations of her family’s women. And as its origins become clearer, Anna realizes that along with the comb, she inherits a legacy—of resilience and courage, love and redemption—beyond her wildest imagination.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781503936263
Publisher: Amazon Publishing
Publication date: 06/28/2016
Pages: 351
Sales rank: 98,119
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

William Andrews wrote at night and on weekends (and sometimes during workdays) for fifteen years leading up to his debut novel, The Essential Truth, a thriller that won first place in the 2008 Mayhaven Contest for fiction. He worked for more than thirty years as a copywriter and a marketing executive for several Fortune 500 companies and then as head of his own advertising agency. Daughters of the Dragon, a work of historical fiction inspired by Andrews’s Korean-born daughter, is his third novel and follows the success of his 2014 IPPY Award–winning thriller, The Dirty Truth. Now retired and writing full-time, Andrews lives in Minneapolis with his wife.

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Daughters of the Dragon: A Comfort Woman's Story 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply put, this book is a MUST read. The writer crafts a story rich in character with cultural and historical elements seamlessly intertwined, making the story all the more important because it is based on the real suffering of young Korean women—girls actually-- who were forced by the Japanese to be sex slaves. The inclusion of the two headed, five toed- dragon comb brings unity to the story and is a vehicle for moving the story from a time of youthful innocence to old age, trying to reconcile what happened and deal with unwarranted painful condemnations. In reading this novel one is touched deeply by the poignant story of Ja-hee, her sister, and the other comfort women. It is at times difficult and painful to read, bringing tears to one’s eyes, yet one is compelled to keep reading. One cannot help but wonder where the main character, Ja-hee, found the strength to not only survive, but to take steps to recover and be a voice for others. This fictional woman has real life sisters who experienced human rights violations that simply cannot be denied.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding Book, with great social impact A well written and exceptional historical novel that describes not only the atrocities, but also the gut-wrenching personal feelings suffered by the Comfort Women forced into sexual slavery by the Japanese prior to and during the II World War.  An exceptional young woman is followed through her life from innocent childhood, through a horrific sexual experience as a comfort woman, to old age, allowing the reader to understand and experience her feelings and the very difficult recovery that was forced on these women who managed to escape and then discover that their life was forever after, altered by the social norms of the Korean society that could not accept the atrocities that had occurred.  Through the inclusion of a mysterious two headed dragon comb, the author has placed the story into a historical context that provides the reader with view of Korean history, from Empress Myeongseong, assassinated in 1895 resisting the Japanese to the formation of North and South Korea as separate nation-states and invasion of American forces.  The dragon comb becomes the “gun in the drawer” that adds mystery and keeps the reader always wanting to keep reading the next chapter to find out how the story is going to end.  This book is so well written that I read this book in two days.  This is a thought provoking and well-constructed story that everyone should read.  This book should definitely reach the New York Times best sellers list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very well-written! I don't usual read historical novels, but this one kept my attention all the way through. I was not aware of the plight of the comfort women and believe it is something all Americans need to know. Definitely a page-truner!
ShareeS More than 1 year ago
Daughters of the Dragon left me haunted. The atrocities that occurred during World War II in countries outside of Europe, have long remained unspoken. Thankfully, because of books like Daughters of the Dragon, the truth will be revealed. And those who suffered never seeing justice, may find rest in knowing they no longer bear the shame of silence. When an American Korean girl goes to Seoul in search of her birth mother, she finds history in her heritage that rocks her to the core. Meeting her maternal grandmother, Anna learns her Korean name and the meaning behind it. Moreover, she discovers the tragedy and strength that runs in her veins. I cannot say enough about Daughters of the Dragon. It’s a powerful story of discovery. Of loss. It demonstrates the power of a woman’s ability to survive and the beauty of a mother’s love that flows through countless generations. William Andrews does a magnificent job of weaving history into a believable fiction story. He incorporates every essential piece to allow for the ambiance of the time as well as provide connection between the reader and the characters. I absolutely recommend Daughters of the Dragon. I received this book from Lake Union Publishers and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion which I’ve provided here. https://wordynerdyblog.wordpress.com/2016-book-reviews/daughters-of-the-dragon/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Andrews delivers a compelling story of a young Korean girl caught in the throws of Japanese control of her native Korea. She and her sister are forced to work as 'comfort' women for the Japanese soldiers during World War II. Andrews manages to present the atrocities and horrors suffered by the comfort women at the hands of the Japanese with tact, sensitivity and respect for the honor of the comfort women. The experiences of the young Korean girl are compelling and heart renching but evolve into a story that includes her American granddaughter, her love of her native Korea and a family heirloom. A well-written story that presents the reader with Korean historical perspective, family and sisterly love, and the precious gift of perspective, inspiration and a sense of belonging that a grandmother can pass to her granddaughter. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Teann More than 1 year ago
Daughters of the Dragon: A Comfort Woman's Story William Andrews MADhouse Press Minneapolis, MN ISBN: 978-0-9913958-5-9 Trade Paperback 2013 $ 12.99 339 pages "It is your fear that will prevent you from becoming who you are meant to be." Being a Korean child adopted into a Caucasian household, Anna frequently felt that she did not belong. People would make comments to her parents while her parents always insisted that they were a "real" family beautifully showing their unconditional love to their daughter. Anna realized that the parents who raised her and were completely devoted to her but she always wondered about her "birth" parents. After completing three years at Northwestern, Anna still didn't have a major. When her mother passed away from pancreatic cancer, she dropped out of college due to money and her lack of focus. She decided to visit Korea to find her "birth" family and her father insisted on accompanying her on this journey. Anna's first stop was an orphanage which unfortunately had no information to assist her. With feelings of defeat, leaving the orphanage was disappointing. When an elderly woman approached her, forcing a small package into her hands explaining in English that she needed to meet with her at an address inside the package to tell her a story. This story and the package were to change Anna's life forever. The story started in 1943 when Korea was again occupied by the Japanese being subjected to their rule. Two sisters, Ja-hee and Soo-hee had grown up living and working on their family farm. With the Japanese occupation, their father was forced to leave the home a year ago to work for the war effort in a steel mill. Now the family received orders for the two girls to also leave for another town to work in a boot factory. Their mother was realistic enough to know that she would likely never see her daughters again. Soo-hee, the older sister was given a family heirloom, a two-headed dragon comb with five toes. This begins the story of the comb and the two sisters. With Ja-hee being only fourteen-years-old the reality was shocking. There was no boot factory. These young teens were to be comfort women, meeting the sexual desires of the Japanese soldiers. If they refused or caused problems, they were killed. Even surviving this time, these women were further condemned by society throughout their entire lives. William Andrews has written a poignant, heart-wrenching fictional tale based on the many stories of comfort women. He beautifully found a true voice for both Anna and Ja-hee making the reader feel as if they are the character. His initial motivation stemmed from his daughter who he adopted from Korea. He superbly interviewed former comfort women and is committed to telling their story as they weekly protest in Korea outside the Japanese Embassy requesting acknowledgment of the atrocity and an apology. Daughters of the Dragon won the IPPY (Independent Publishers Book Award) in the historical fiction genre for 2014. He also won the Mayhaven Award for his novel, The Essential Truth. Daughters of the Dragon is a story about humanity educating readers in an effort to never allow history to repeat itself. In every war there are numerous perspectives which we have no idea of how they were involved with a conflict and to understand point-of-view. All of these are needed to truly understand any war. One of the best written, enticing, intriguing novels I have ever read is Daughters of the Dragon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I invite you to read the first page then tell me you weren't immediately drawn in. Jahee's story of suffering, endurance and survival is not only an inspirational story, it serves as a glimpse into the shameful depravity to which humans can descend in their treatment of others. While this is an historical novel, Mr. Andrews exhaustive research into the subject imbues the story line with the resiliency of truth. And the dialogue and narrative of a Korean woman, from youth to old age, is so credible and so alive, the reader finds himself from time to time checking if indeed the author is that white male pictured on the dustcover. "Daughters of the Dragon" is a remarkable story, extraordinarily well-crafted. Well done, sir.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KEBurke More than 1 year ago
Very emotional story that is hard to put down. Well-developed characters and vivid descriptions bring the experience to life. Sad that it is based on historical truths, but definitely a story that needs to be told. Reading this book provides a poignant look into the Korean culture and a true sense of the strength it takes to be a survivor.