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Kathy Winters

“This is such a beautifully written true story. The two mothers are truly an example of true love of a child. The two mothers, one with courage and love to give up her child. The other mother was willing to give a four year old boy of mixed race and from a foreign country a chance for a future. I sincerely hope that Joel L. A. Peterson will be writing more books.”

Ellen Long

"Omg! Book [is] so good [I'm] crying because I have [just] finished it. The depth of love revealed by these two mothers is so painfully beautiful [and] deeply abiding. Their core being is exactly alike while every other aspect of their worlds is opposite. I will never forget this book; it is that good. Causes so much emotion in the reader, [I] will reflect on this amazing story for a long time.


Thank you for sharing such a gorgeous story. I am a social worker who has the privilege of walking next to birth mothers as they go through the process of adoption. I have seen first hand the depth and selflessness required for women to put the needs of their child before their own. It takes extraordinary ego strength when they understand they cannot provide what is essential for their child, but must entrust him or her into the arms of another family. Your life and story offer inspiration to the women I work with to know the outcome can be so positive. Thank you!"

Joann S.

"YOUR BOOK TEACHES SO MUCH Thank you for writing "Dreams of My Mothers" -- it is a very thought provoking, well-written book and has actually helped me in my relationships with my son and my husband. It's helped me talk to my husband about how to raise our only child, our son. Also, it's helped me to deal/confront my emotional issues of mistrust with the opposite gender, so thank you for helping me to heal my own wounds as a woman/wife/mother. Your book delivers so much more than just the issues you talk about. Thank you."

Linda Dart

"I literally could not put this book down. I read a lot but few books have spoken to me in such a way as this. I received my autographed copy through Good Reads, and I am so grateful for it. The history behind the story was beyond my knowledge, and I'm sure beyond the knowledge of most Americans. I hope to see more books be this most talented of authors."

Gail Haack Mueller

"Mom told me about your book. I read it in one sitting, a first. I had every emotion.  Bless you Joel for teaching all of us so much, especially about racism.  God most certainly meant for you to be on earth 'for such a time as this."

Daryal Gant

"First-time author, Joel L. A. Peterson, has written a surprising, masterful, and beautiful story based on true events from his life that ranks it among the very best works of this type that I have ever read. 

If a pure fiction novelist wrote this story, it would likely be ridiculed as being too over the top— the story too unlikely and fantastical to be believed. But this is not the case with Dreams of My Mothers, because Peterson actually witnessed and experienced most of the events that form the basis for the story and set the stage for the book’s characters. Adding to this, Peterson’s narrative and exquisite prose are absolutely enthralling and instinctively believable and powerfully real. 

This story will pierce your heart a thousand times on its way to reaching the pinnacle of inspiration. Before you start this book, allot plenty of time—you just may not be able to set it aside. And even when you are finished, it will stay with you."

Diane Hanson and Sarah Hanson, mother and daughter

"Dreams of My Mothers is a shockingly engaging, powerful, and compelling novel. It is a truly remarkable story, based on actual events, about a mother's love and how it can transcend any culture, place, or time. Heart wrenching at times, it is an inspirational testament to the human spirit and its ability to unselfishly act in unfathomable ways at the least expected times. First time author, Joel L. A. Peterson, exhibits an impact and level of sophistication in his writing that one would expect only from a well-seasoned author. A must read for anyone who has ever struggled to find his or her place in the world or believed that dreams could ever triumph over reality."

Mary H. Miller

“Wow, this tore at my heart and lifted me up at the same time! It was so good and over too soon. I hated to see it end! I couldn't recommend Dreams of my Mothers more, whether you want to just curl up and read knowing your heart will just melt, or discuss any number of it's ever poignant themes at book club!

This first time author shares a courageous narrative that tells the story of a little boy who survives through unimaginable horrors and heartache to arrive at a life of authentic love at it’s best. There are so many relevant themes that call the reader to really think about the world we live in what we’ve learned throughout our own life experiences and whether we have what it takes to affect a positive imprint on those around us.”

Wendy Wyatt

"An extraordinary tale (based on true events) about love, redemption, tolerance and courage. Riveting as you follow along on the adventures of a boy spanning two continents. Anchored by two mothers who are literally and figuratively worlds apart, yet share a bond with their love for a boy... Uniquely written in the tandem of "now" and "then", this is a page turner that will have you laughing and crying and wanting more. Beautifully done!"

Karen Guzzetta Mathison

"Soul-searing, but ultimately amazingly uplifting and heart-warming! I am definitely recommending this book to my book club.


This is the first book I’ve read about a different aspect of war and occupation, an important aspect, and that is about the children left behind fathered by U.S. soldiers. Some of these children made it back to the States.


In Dreams of My Mothers, the author explores one such situation. The pain a poor Korean mother, Hee Ae, is faced with raising her green-eyed biracial son, when she doesn’t have the capability of caring for herself. Dreams of My Mothers follows the love of the boy’s – we come to know him as Noah – Korean mother and his adoptive mother, Ellen, as both women hope and dream of what’s best for Noah in their own world-spanning different ways. Who is Noah? Is he Korean? Is he American? The author exposes the cultural biases on both sides of the ocean, and how Noah is affected by it from infancy to young adulthood to maturity.


Here is a book that will deeply touch your heart on so many levels while providing insight into the lessons Noah learns about himself and life while growing up in the heartland of America; lessons that apply to us all.


Lovingly, yet powerfully and beautifully written and filled with life lessons and anecdotes you’ll want to write down and keep forever. This book, its characters and their stories, engrossed me and affected me as few I’ve ever read. It is a must read for anyone who believes that dreams, hope, and the human heart can change the world." 

Sheri Stevenson

"Only once or twice a year does a book come along that makes me set aside priorities and stay up late into the night reading it in one sitting. I literally could not put this book down. The underlying events of the story are phenomenal and would be an excellent book on their own, but what sets this book apart is how amazingly well-written it is, not only in its very creative organization and storytelling, but also in its prose – which is more like poetry that touches the heart and soul of the reader – and keeps the reader asking, 'What happens next?' I give it my strongest, highest recommendation and know it will be a runaway bestseller!" 

Amy Braun Steinhauser

"Dreams of My Mothers is absolutely captivating, a novel based on true events from the life stories of both of the author’s birth and adoptive mothers, deftly interwoven with events from his own. Exquisitely, often painfully, highlighting the joyful as well as the tortured moments of their individual journeys of searing loss, exceptional love and ultimate redemption, the book’s story travels along the boundaries where all our narratives meet, and completely drew me into places I could not possibly have imagined. Once begun, I simply could not put it down....The writing is simply stunning. The story itself is singular and unique, and the way the author tells it is gripping, suspenseful, and engrossing. But the way he writes is exceptionally beautiful. Dreams of My Mothers will be a book that you will want to own and re-read. And its story and themes will stay with you."

Betty Lee Hunter

"One of the most powerful books I have ever read! Thank you for allowing me to be one of your readers! It is haunting and the message never leaves you after you read it!"

Lori Lightfoot

"I finished this amazing book last night. I had mixed emotions as far as hurry up and finish or slow down because I didn't want the story to end. I absolutely loved it! Thank you for sharing your story. I learned so much from this book. There is a lesson and a message for everyone to learn from Dreams of my Mothers. Congratulations Joel! I look forward to following the path of your beautiful book."

Paul Murray

”I was one of the blessed people that had the privilege of reading an advance copy of Dreams of My Mothers. This is a heartfelt tale of a journey of hardship, sacrifice and loss, and ultimately redemption. It is a Horatio Alger story on steroids, but so much more. It is a book that has something for everyone's soul, whether man or woman, son or daughter, or mother or father. Best seller for sure!“

Courtney Simpkins Garner

"I just finished reading this book and it is very powerful. At first I was struck by the fair-haired heroine, Ellen, and how strong and self-sacrificing she was. But when I came to the end of the book, my opinion completely changed about Hee Ae. She was a heroine also. She made the ultimate sacrifice for her son - she gave him up for a better, richer life. I cried for Young Nam and felt so proud of Noah. Beautifully written."

Tina Marie Ito

"I am reading a copy of this book now, and cannot put it down. It's well-written and heartfelt...some passages are leaving me speechless."

Kimberly Wentworth

"In this moving account, Joel Peterson pays tribute to maternal-child bonds enduring across oceans and beyond death, telling a story that will resonate across generations and cultures. Deftly weaving together the stories of two mothers who loved the same son in the best manner they knew how, Peterson demonstrates the acts of selflessness that allowed him to become the person he is today. In doing so, he pays homage not only to his mothers, but parents everywhere."

Linda Taix Paccone

"I just finished reading the book, Dreams of My Mothers by Joel Peterson. I read it in one week…which for me, is almost impossible with my heavy schedule. But I just could not put the book down. Dreams of My Mothers touched me on so many emotions. I giggled, cried, got angry and felt relief as I read this inspiring book. Joel’s writing format is impressively gripping to the very end with twists and turns throughout. It is no doubt that Dreams of My Mothers will make the Best Sellers List! It’s a must read! Bravo Joel Peterson!!"

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