My thoughts on the book:
I was invited to review Pearl Harbor and More, and I was immediately drawn to the concept. We are approaching the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, and I love the idea of telling stories set all over the world about how this single event changes so many lives. I think we often view big historical events in terms of a progression of given causes and effects, so it’s easy to forget that those effects were not a given at the time, and that they impacted various people in different ways that may not have made it into the history books.
I am an American, for instance, examines the reactions of Caucasian and Japanese Americans in California to the bombing. Instead of documenting the end result of the bombing in California–the removal and internment of thousands of people of Japanese decent–it looks at the immediate, personal consequences of the far-off event: war hysteria, an upswelling of anti-Japanese sentiment, fear among those who remembered WWI, and an uneasiness in Japanese Americans, who might not have known what was coming, but understood that their lives had just been changed forever.
This night the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an impassioned speech, had asked Congress to declare war on Japan and Germany.
Carl turned to his wife sitting on the couch to gauge her reaction. He knew she wouldn’t take it well. She knew what it meant for their family. Their sons would go to war – if not tomorrow, soon. Both Arnie and John had registered for the draft. Already, in anticipation that the United States would join in the conflict in Europe, the term of enlistment for draftees had been raised from twelve months to thirty months. Carl was right. Alice sat as if in a stupor, her slender body shaking.
Carl surveyed the room to see how his children took the news. Arnie – still at the university in Davis taking his classes – was missing. John, with his dark hair and eyes like his mother, sat slouched in his chair, his ankle crossed at the top of his opposite knee, his index finger tapping his lips. The jiggling of his foot gave away his
nervousness. Flo sat next to her mother, her head resting on Alice’s shoulder. Her eyes watered with tears threatening to be shed. But it was his youngest son, who looked the most like his younger self, who worried Carl the most.
Hugh took action first by jumping from his seat. He paced the floor, his fists clenched. He turned to his father, his yell revealing his anguished feelings. “Those dirty Japs! Those dirty, dirty Japs! How dare they come in and bomb our harbor like that. I mean, we didn’t do anything to them. Our ships and our people were just minding their own business and then those Japs send in all those planes and torpedoes and shoot the place up. Why? Because they want war? Well, you heard our president. They got war.”
Carl spoke calmly, hoping to settle Hugh down. “I know it’s bad, Hugh. I don’t know what brought things on, but yelling like this won’t help. It’s only upsetting your mother and sister. Please sit back down.”
“Yeah? Well, maybe they should be upset. Look at your own daughter, being friends with that Jap girl. She’s the enemy and now her people have bombed Pearl Harbor.”
Flo sat up straight, her mouth agape in shock at Hugh’s accusation. She quickly found her voice. “Hugh, that’s not fair. Ellen was born here. She’s an American, just like we are. She and her family have nothing to do with Japan going to war with us.”
“Doesn’t make any difference. They’re all Japs. You can tell by looking at them.
On December 7th 1941, a pivotal event took place that changed the face of World War II. Hundreds of Japanese fighter planes carried out a devastating surprise attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. By December 11th, the United States was at
war with the Axis Powers in the Pacific and European theaters. World War II raged for almost another four years, but the entry of the world’s greatest economy into the conflict profoundly influenced its course.
This wide-ranging collection of eight stories by a diverse group of authors, who write wartime fiction, commemorates the 75th
anniversary of the Battle of Pearl Harbor. Few people’s lives were unaffected in some way by that fateful day and these stories reflect this. Some of them are set at Pearl Harbor itself, in other parts of the United States and in Singapore. Other stories take place in Europe: occupied France, Germany and Northern Ireland. They explore the experiences of U.S. servicemen and women, a German Jew, Japanese Americans, a French countess, an Ulster Home Guard, and many others.
We hope readers will enjoy our salute to the people and the events of this momentous era.
About Robyn Hobusch Echols:
California, USA, near the “Gateway to Yosemite.” She is a member of Women Writing the West, and American Night Writers Association. She enjoys any kind
of history including family history. When she is not piecing together novel plots, she pieces together quilt blocks.