In the current international climate where North Korea takes center stage, “Forgotten Reflections” weaves an inspirational tale of family, lost memories, folklore and an unforgotten history, spanning three generations as South Korea rises from the ashes.
DARE TO DREAM IN THE MIDST OF WAR. 1945.
Rice fields seem endless in a quaint farming village of South Korea, yet Iseul and the villagers have been on the verge of starvation for as long as they can remember. Their Japanese colonizers have taken every last grain with them as they are finally ousted from the Peninsula. In the newly independent Korea, Iseul and Jung-Soo dream of what their future might bring. Yet, war is on the horizon and Iseul has fallen for an alleged North Korean communist spy.
Men are conscripted and rice is taken to feed the growing army as the Korean Peninsula is thrust into an international war that would determine if the strategic region will fall into the communist or democratic realm. With nothing but the news of death and hunger awaiting the village of women, children, and the aged, Iseul musters up whatever hope she has left to bring the village together to make paper. Soon, the village once known for its rice, becomes famous for its paper, becoming a beacon of hope for the battle-worn soldiers awaiting letters from their loved ones. Spies continue to roam South Korea, turning neighbors and families against one another.
For years, Jung-Soo has been suspicious of his father’s allegiances. With a series of mysterious revelations about his father, Jung-Soo is forced to choose between his tainted communist past, and the future he hopes to have with Iseul after the war.
“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
“A story about a grandmother’s secret life and what she sacrificed to make a better life for her children.” –- Niyati Mavinkurve
Forgotten Reflections: A War Story by Young-Im Lee is an interesting novel. One that swept me deep into the war story. A foreign country, South Korea is at war. Both the communists and democrats want to take it over….but their war brings the one village to starvation. Hunger, loss, and desperation can be seen and felt with every page.
A young woman is determined despite the war and its effects on her people. Soon, she brings them hope. Hope soon blossoms into her village. Letters to the soldiers helps them carry forth int the war. Families torn between choices. Love and hope still prevail…
I enjoyed reading this tale. Forgotten Reflections is an engaging story. The plot rushes me through the pages. The characters and their dilemmas entice me further into their world. A culture readers can’t miss. Young-Im Lee has presented a heartfelt novel. One that won’t be forgotten by its readers…including myself. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide.