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Reviewed by Roy T. James for Readers' Favorite
Shattered by the Wars: But Sustained by Love by Hi-Dong Chai is the story a Korean boy tells in his own words of his childhood at the time of World War II, the Korean War, communism and associated turbulence. The disturbances in his life are further accentuated by his religious background and the constant interference by the authorities. To compound their miseries further, Dong’s brother, the smartest and the brightest one in the family, decides to become a communist. One day Dong finds his father being abducted. Both mother and son are forced to abandon their home. Added to this is the uncertainty of the future. Dong’s excitement at finding a job for himself, though non-paying, as a fish cleaner, searching for his mother and finally reuniting with her, teaching Korean to an American boy, and many other incidents are movingly narrated.
Shattered by the Wars: But Sustained by Love by Hi-Dong Chai is a story celebrating the hope of the future. The indomitable human spirit of the mother and her son will leave a long lasting impression on the reader. The dangers of totalitarian thinking, supported by whatever form of government, can be identified in the events and occurrences described in this book; all those who read this will realize that anyone could have been in Hi-Dong’s position. The narration and the honest rendition of events are quite absorbing. I found it difficult to put down the book.