For Freedom

Written by Joy Chambers
Review by Sara Wilson

It is 1941 in Hong Kong, and the Japanese are gearing up for invasion. Four people, whose lives are intertwined, are caught up in events which will change each of them forever. Lexi Robinson, an English doctor, is married to John Drayton Whitby, but loves Hank Trapperton. Kathleen Leigh is Lexi’s childhood friend, but is hiding a secret love for her husband.

Lexi and Kathleen board a ship to take them to safety but the enemy has other ideas and their survival is in doubt. Meanwhile Hank and John become friends in spite of their mutual feelings for Lexi. As the action crosses the whole of South East Asia so the four characters come to realise their happiness lies in telling the truth.

For Freedom is a great rollercoaster of a novel, with plenty of fierce fighting, thrilling exploits and tender romance. It has a very filmic feel – hardly surprising since Joy Chambers is also a well known Australian actress – and would make a wonderful mini-series.

The main characters are not simply cardboard cut-out war heroes, but well-rounded and full of flaws and complexities. The exotic backdrop is well depicted – you can almost feel the humidity of the jungle at times. It is a lengthy read, but one that definitely repays the effort.