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The Iron Butterfly: Memoir of a Martial Arts Master: The True Story of a Mermaid's Daughter
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The Iron Butterfly: Memoir of a Martial Arts Master: The True Story of a Mermaid's Daughter

4.14  ·  Rating Details ·  29 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
"A powerful and cathartic memoir" -Helen Tse, author, Sweet Mandarin, a finalist for the Portico Prize While growing up in a rural fishing village following the Korean War, Choon-Ok Jade Harmon discovered how to fight for survival at an early age. She was the youngest of seven children, and her destitute family faced constant hunger, bitterly cold winters, and an often-abu ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Pelican Publishing Company
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Cynthia Larson
Mar 12, 2011 Cynthia Larson rated it it was amazing
Inspirational Story of a "Mermaid's Daughter" Turned Martial Artist

This page-turner memoir of a martial arts master transported me to another world of arranged marriages and people living in great poverty off whatever food the land and sea had to provide on the small Korean island of Koje Do. Choon Ok's mother kept her family alive through extraordinarily difficult times with little to no help from her father, always working to do her best for her family, no matter the personal risks to herself.
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Jenevieve
Jun 26, 2011 Jenevieve rated it it was amazing
Memoir of a Martial Arts Master and the True Story of a Mermaid's Daughter. This is an autobiography of the highest ranking woman in Kuk Sool Won, a traditional Korean martial art. It tells of her life from birth to present and everything she has gone through to get to where she is today: a 9th degree black belt in Kuk Sool Won, married to another 9th degree black belt, mother of two. She shows how all her hard-work and dedication to what she believed in has brought her the life she always dream ...more
Bailey Nicole
Oct 20, 2014 Bailey Nicole rated it it was amazing
my favorite book in the entire world. This story is about my best friend's mom, and it is so incredible amazing what this admirable woman has gone through. Choon -Ok Harmon is my biggest inspiration in the world. I've read it over and over and over and every time it's like I'm reading the stories for the first time again.
Louise
Sep 18, 2013 Louise rated it really liked it
Each time that I saw this book n a book store, I thought about buying it, but the sometimes frugal person in me, wouldn't let me; but when I finally decided to do the Nook Version, I was glad that I did.
Iron Butterfly shows that with determination and perservance, a person can achieve their goals, even under the most severe adversities.
Janel
Aug 01, 2012 Janel rated it really liked it


As a Korean American, I loved this book. The story could be read as a chapter book for young children or as a quick read for an adult intrigued with the opening. I recommend it to anyone interested in the story of a strong woman dedicated to her goals.
Ann Alton
Oct 17, 2012 Ann Alton rated it it was amazing
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Fascinating memoir. Inspiring and well written, I devoured it in one day. This is a book you will not want to miss, and you will want your daughters, and sons, to read about the triumphs of this amazing woman.
Tara Chklovski
Jan 22, 2012 Tara Chklovski rated it liked it
Very inspiring! A true testament to how powerful hard work and training can be and where it can take you. Her mother's stories are even crazier and more hard core! Really puts modern day whining and complaining into perspective!
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