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Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review - Within the Walls of Santo Tomas by Betty Byron with Cassius Mullen

Book Review
Within The Walls of Santo Tomas 
by Betty Byron with Cassius Mullen

About the Author
Betty Byron was born in Louisville, Kentucky and is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio. Following graduation, she married a career military officer and spent the ensuing years traveling throughout the contiguous United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, United Kingdom and Continental Europe. Her husband served in South Korea and Vietnam and visited Japan and Hong Kong. After her husband's retirement, Betty decided to write novels based on her impressions from years of travel and interacting with people from various countries. Her interests include reading, traveling, collecting teddy bears and interior decorating. She now resides with her husband in Texas.

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Book Description
Within the Walls of Santo Tomas brings to life a story of Japanese internment of Americans in Manila during WWII.  Overcoming adversity and death defining odds — this engaging tale keeps the reader on the edge of their seat,  building on true accounts of secret agents, maniacal Japanese doctors, & the brutal commandant.  This timeless novel gives the reader an intimate view of the relationships, determination, and survival of the nurses and captives during their battle to stay alive and triumph over evil — Within The Walls of Santo Tomas.

Travel back to 1942, when twenty-eight-year-old Molly Martin’s life was changed forever. She and other army nurses and soldiers are taken from Corregidor to Manila, where they are imprisoned by the Japanese within the walls of Santo Tomas University with innocent US and Allied civilians. Molly leads the nurses in establishing a hospital in the former gymnasium, and they attempt to make the best of things.

Three long years passed and the American forces drew closer. On February 3, 1945 a flight of five American planes flew low over Santo Tomas. An object fell from one of them – pilot’s goggles. A hastily scrawled note stuffed inside read Roll out the barrel, Christmas comes today or tomorrow – the announcement of the coming liberation of the internees.

Our Book Review
A saga of captivity and survival in Manila during World War II.  Through access to the First Cavalry Division Museum at Ford Hood in Texas, the author has used historical evidence to create fictional characters to bring to life the horrors of living in a occupied prisoner of war camp under Japanese rule.

Through the eyes of Nurse Molly Martin we sense how difficult it was to survive under an oppressive regime and to exist you have to learn to cheat, scrimp and loose all emotions.   Molly befriends a young man, Scrounger, who becomes the camps savior as he has ways and means of obtaining the basic items needed to survive.  What was Scrounger's secret, is he really a spy for the Japanese?

Certain prisoners in the camp are taken away and never return, these victims are found being operated on by a sinister doctor but for what purpose?   This drives Molly on to survive and make sure that the evil doers are brought to justice.

This is a very emotive story, it will make you really think about what really happened to people who were caught and interned during the war, what horrors and experiments were carried out on them and what gave them the strength to survive.

Based on historical facts and memoirs, this is a really good read which will appeal to anyone who has interest in  prisoner of war survival.

Our Rating

Sharon x

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  1. This sounds like a good read. I've always taken an interest in History

  2. This sounds like a book my grandfather would really love. He's interested in history/wars!

  3. I love reading historical fiction. I would love to read this book. Sounds really interesting.


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