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In Brief: "In the Shadow of the Moons"

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At 15, a Korean schoolgirl named Nansook Hong was selected by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon as a bride for his eldest son and heir apparent. Born to Moonie parents herself, Hong, now 32, knew the honor in marrying the son of the Messiah, but closeness with the True Family shook her faith. Moonie tenets of monogamy, sobriety, and poverty did not jibe with the lavish lifestyle enjoyed by Moon's direct kin. How this pious girl resolves her crisis of consciousness is the central tension in Hong's memoir, In the Shadow of the Moons (Little, Brown; $23). Though her born-again-Christian belief in forgiveness prevents Hong from writing a jeremiad, her simple sentences betray the hurt she felt at Moon's transgressions -- the Blessed Children's alcohol binges and crack habits, Mrs. Moon's zillion-dollar wardrobe, and everyone's whippings at the hand of the Messiah. Hong's life inside Moon's $24 million compound was a nightmare, and waking up, it seems, was the hardest part.


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