Dawn of a Thousand Nights
Libby Conners, a civilian pilot, and Dan Lukens, a hot shot U.S. Army Air Corps pilot, fall in love in 1941, in the fun-loving, military-saturated beaches of Oahu. Their happiness is abruptly shattered by the bleak reality of war after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Dan is sent to suffer through the misery of being stationed in the Philippines, where enduring the Bataan Death March is only the beginning of his trials. Libby attempts to find acceptance serving her county by ferrying aircraft for the military as one of the first WAFS (Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron). Both Dan and Libby follow their own paths, never knowing if they will be reunited or will even survive the war.
Although Dawn of a Thousand Nights is a relatively quick read with its casual style of writing and large type, its content is dark and complex. The story deals with the suffering and despair of war, but is also tempered with a strong inspirational element that courses though the plot, making the reader’s journey more bearable.
This novel is an educational read, especially for someone not familiar with the events that took place in the Philippines during the Second World War, and it illustrates the meaning of personal endurance. It is not, however, a book to consider for relaxing bedtime reading.