Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dawn of a Thousand Nights by Tricia Goyer

World War II buffs, do you enjoy true stories of people and events of the Greatest Generation? Well, I think you'll like the stories in Tricia Goyer's World War II Liberator series. There are four books in the series. All are fiction, but they are based on facts gleaned in Goyer's research with veterans, civilians, and historians who testify to the accuracy of the facts. Dawn of a Thousand Nights: A Story of Honor is the third in the series. Each book stands alone, so there is no need to read them in sequence.

It's 1941, and Libby Conners, a female aviator living in Hawaii, meets Dan Lukens, a fighter pilot in the Army Air Corps. They meet at the beach, discover their mutual interest in flying, become friends, and begin dating. Then comes December 7, 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Dan is sent to the Phillipines, and Libby goes home to stay with her dad in California. They pledge to marry when it's all over.

Dan fights valiantly but ends up being part of the Bataan Death March. Libby becomes a WASP (Women's Airforce Service Pilots), ferrying planes from factories to their duty stations within the U. S. She does not hear anything from Dan for months on end. She is tempted to date others, but she promised to wait. Dan encounters Natsuo, a Japanese man with whom he had attended classes in college. The story revolves around these three characters, although there a numerous others to add interest.

It's a great read, although the ending seemed a bit rushed to me. About 3/4 of the way through the book, I began to wonder how the author would pull it all together in the few pages she had left. It's an emotional story, especially the part about Dan's experience as a POW. Some say that there are inaccuracies in the details of the story. I think Goyer did a fine job of giving the big picture of life in a time of conflict, fear, and uncertainty. The survivors and veterans she interviewed for her research gave her high marks on "making it real."

Check it out the hard copy on Amazon here.
The Kindle version is here.

I will be reviewing the other three books soon. See the list on Amazon here.

Footnote: I failed to mention that Dawn of 1,000 Nights was winner of the 2006 Carol Award for long historical novel.

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