This was the first Lisa See book I have read; she was highly recommended by some friends. Two girls, Mi-ja and Young-sook, live on the Korean island of Jeju, an island known for its haenyeo, an all-female diving collective that fishes the sea. The young girls are trained by Young-sook’s mother, who is leader of the collective.

But the girls come from vastly different backgrounds and after some tragic events that take place, the girls are each affected by historical events that take a toll on their friendship. I learned about Japanese colonialism, the Korean War and the other events that affect Jeju and the haenyeo culture. This is a heartbreaking story of survival, friendship and the strength of women.