The Picture Bride: A Novel (Hardcover)
“Lee Geum-yi has a gift for taking little-known embers of history and transforming them into moving, compelling, and uplifting stories. The Picture Bride is the ultimate story of the power of friendship—a must read!” —Heather Morris, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Your husband is a landowner,” they told her.
“Food and clothing is so plentiful, it grows on trees.”
“You will be able to go to school.”
Of the three lies the matchmaker told Willow before she left home as a picture bride in 1918, the third hurt the most. Never one to be deterred, Willow does all that she can to make the best of her unexpected circumstance. But it isn't long before her dreams for this new life are shattered, first by a husband who never wanted to marry her in the first place, and then by the escalation of the Korean independence movements, unified in goal, but divergent in action, which threaten to split the Hawaiian Korean community and divide Willow's family and friends.
Braving the rough waters of these tumultuous years, Willow forges ahead, creating new dreams through her own blood, sweat, and tears; working tirelessly toward a better life for her family and loved ones.
“A beautiful testimony to those women bold and determined enough to leave behind all that was familiar, seeking a better life.” —Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author
About the Author
LEE GEUM-YI was born in 1962, in her grandmother's house in the small, mountainous village of Chungcheongbuk-do, Korea. She became enthralled with the charms of storytelling early on, having spent her childhood under the influence of her grandmother's bedtime stories. Since then, Lee has published more than fifty books in South Korea, and her work has been translated around the world, including The Picture Bride, her first novel to be published in English. Beloved by readers and literary critics alike, many of her books have been adapted into TV series, musicals, and webtoons. Lee Geum-yi lives in Seoul, South Korea, with her husband, son, and her old rescue dog, Lulu.
AN SEONJAE (translator) has lived in Korea since 1980. He was born in Cornwall in 1942, and since 1969 has been a member of the Community of Taizé, where he is known as Brother Anthony. He has published some 50 volumes of translated Korean poetry, as well as the translations of several Korean novels.
“Lee Geum-yi has a gift for taking little-known embers of history and transforming them into moving, compelling, and uplifting stories. I loved Willow from the first page to the last. Loved her courage, and her tenacious, yet caring, beautiful soul. The Picture Bride is the ultimate story of the power of friendship—a must read!”
—Heather Morris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Tattooist of Auschwitz and Three Sisters
“A fascinating journey into the world of Korean “picture brides” whose lives take unexpected turns as they land on distant shores. A beautiful testimony to those women bold and determined enough to leave behind all that was familiar, seeking a better life.”
—Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours and The Book of Lost Friends
“A transporting and immersive story that will enthrall historical fiction readers. Poignant and moving, its unforgettable characters will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading.”
—Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author of The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba
“This moving novel takes readers into the world of Korean 'picture brides,' . . . [A] total must-read. ”
—Katie Couric Media
“Historical fiction buffs and readers interested in little-known history will enjoy.”
—Library Journal, starred review
“An engaging picture of a time and a place.”
“Written with great historical detail about Korean immigrants in Hawai'i, Geum-yi's beautiful novel weaves an extraordinary tale.”
“The stories of these women’s lives in Hawai’i and the sugar industry there becomes, in Lee’s skilled hands, a vehicle for a narrative about the Korean struggle for independence from Japan and how it was refracted through the diaspora.”
—Asian Review of Books
“The Picture Bride is an immigrant story, but it is moreover a love story.”
“Heartfelt, beautiful, and immersive, The Picture Bride is a fascinating historical fiction book.”