“This story of true heroes of WWII draws you in progressively deeper. You laugh, celebrate, appreciate accomplishments, and then witness an amazing bittersweet story of survival.”
2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Finalist - General Fiction
In January 1941, Margie Bauer is called to active duty in the Army Nurse Corps of the United States Army Reserves. Her assignment is to Sternberg Hospital in Manila, Philippines—the Pearl of the Orient. She falls in love with the beauty of the island and the carefree lifestyle of bridge games, tennis dates, pool parties, and dancing under twinkle-light stars with handsome, young doctors. Though rumors of war circulate, she feels safe, trusting that the island is fortified, the airbases are ample, and the Filipino troops are well trained. General MacArthur is upbeat when he announces that everything is splendid.
December 8, 1941, the Japanese bomb the Philippines, turning everything in their path to piles of rubble. Racing to stay ahead of a powerful and better equipped enemy, the U.S. Army evacuates to the jungles of Bataan where Margie tends to the wounded, sick, and dying soldiers in open-air field hospitals. With the Japanese at her heels, she is relocated to an underground tunnel-hospital on the fortified island of Corregidor. Ultimately captured, she is imprisoned in Santo Tomas Internment Camp.
For three years, Margie doubts her survival in the harsh environment where she faces escalating danger, starvation, and loss. Then, American airplanes appear in the sky promising her rescue. Cruelly, however, she finds the liberation forces bring a danger more brutal than that of her evil oppressors, ensuring she will never forget the sinister place and all that happened there.