Book Review – Shattered by the Wars: But Sustained by Love by Hi-Dong Chai

18818459Title: Shattered by the Wars: But Sustained by Love by Hi-Dong Chai
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Inspiring Voices
Page count: 233
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: November 1, 2013
Rating – 5/5

I hate war. War kills. War maims. War orphans. And it leaves a deep scar not only on the land, that will take years to heal, but also in the hearts of those who are affected by the war. I am one of those who carry a deep emotional wound to this day, more than sixty years later.

During World War II, under Japan, my father was imprisoned because he was a Christian minister wh I hate war. War kills. War maims. War orphans. And it leaves a deep scar not only on the land, that will take years to heal, but also in the hearts of those who are affected by the war. I am one of those who carry a deep emotional wound to this day, more than sixty years later.

During World War II, under Japan, my father was imprisoned because he was a Christian minister who refused to bow down to the picture of the Japanese emperor. My elder brother volunteered to join the Japanese military in the hope of having his father released from the prison. He left home as a vibrant, fifteen-year-old boy and returned home as a worn-out, injured, eighteen-year-old man after the war; he died a year later. During the Korean War, two North Korean officers came to my house and took my father away because he was a Christian minister. He never returned.

“Shattered by the Wars” is a story of love, sacrifice, faith, and suffering, all wrapped in one package. The heroine in the story is my mother, as seen by her youngest son. Mother prayed without ceasing. Through her unceasing prayers, she was able to walk through the dark tunnel of trials and tribulations and lead us onward with love and grace and absolute faith in God.

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In 2014 I had the pleasure of reading Blossoms and Bayonets as part of a blog tour which was based on the life of Hi-Dong Chai. I now have had the pleasure and honor of receiving an autographed copy of Shattered by The Wars: But Sustained by Love, a memoir written by Hi-Dong Chai. You can view my review of Blossoms and Bayonets here (click link), a book that really touched my heart. This book was no different. I want to take a moment to thank Hi-Dong Chai for reaching out and giving me the opportunity to read this work of his life.

Over the years I’ve come to find that I have fallen completely in love with reading memoirs and with each one I read it becomes even more so apparent than before. Shattered by the Wars was a touching and heartbreaking glimpse into the life of a young boy growing into a young man in the midst of war which has profound and devastating affects on his childhood and life. Once again reading about Hi Dong Chai’s life and experiences growing up during a time of war has affected my heart. I found myself sometimes smiling but I mostly found myself crying when I read this.

I also learned a lot from this book. I found key pieces of wisdom scattered throughout its pages, both from the reflections of the author as he writes about his life and what he has learned from it, but also from the voice of his mother speaking through him as well. I really love how this book reflects the tenderness of the love between a mother and a son as well as the tenderness of familial bonds. Being a fur mommy myself I cried so much when I read about his having to say goodbye to Kwidong, I can only imagine how much that hurt.

This is a beautiful book, a beautiful and tragic account of a life that has experienced many things that most of us can’t even imagine. I feel so honored to have read this and having read Blossoms and Bayonets, I felt a strong connection to the people in this book. This is a must read.

Also here’s a pic I took of my copy! ❤
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Hi Dong ChaiAbout the Author
A native of Seoul, Korea, Hi-Dong Chai was a boy during WWII and the Korean War. At the age 16, he came to the United States where he received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering, worked for IBM, came up with many inventions, published extensively in his field, and later taught as a Professor at San Jose State University.
But he never forgot those early war years. After retiring in 2002,he decided to spend the rest of his years as a writer to share his thoughts, feelings and life experiences with the world. My Truest Hope was published in the 2012 August issue of the Guideposts magazine. Other articles appeared on the Writers Talk, Monthly Newsletter of the South Bay Writers Club. Also Blossoms and Bayonets coauthored with Jana McBurney-Lin was e-published on Kindle, Smashwords.com and Barnes and Noble in October, 2012; Jana has turned the life of his family under Japan during World War II into a historical novel. In January, 2013, he e-published a short love story, Cindy and a Korean Boy. In May, 2013, he e-published Shattered by the Wars, the story of his family during WWII under Japan and during the Korean War.The paper-back version of Shattered by the Wars was published in November, 2013. Since its publication, it has received wonderful reviews. It came in as a finalist in 2014 Eric Hoffer Award, 2013 Autumn House Publishing and Hippo Campus Magazine writing contests.

More of his writings can be found in www.hidongchai.com.

You can also purchase this book at Amazon and add it to your TBR list on Goodreads !

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