Pearl Harbor and More: Stories of WWII—December 1941

Written by Alexa Kang Dianne Ascroft Margaret Tanner Marion Kummerow R. V. Doon Robert A. Kingsley Robyn Hobusch Echols Vanessa Couchman
Review by Viviane Crystal

When Pearl Harbor is attacked on December 7, 1941, military personnel and civilians react and overreact. Murder is committed in Hawaii; German residents betray and protect resistors; shysters destroy the dreams of innocent dreamers in America; Irish volunteer defense force personnel resent American civilian workers; and couples find love. Japanese Americans gain and lose friends before they are interned for the war’s duration. In Shanghai and on islands between Japan and America, residents doubt they will be attacked and then suffer the horror of being wrong. Who are one’s friends and enemies? Why had people not recognized the obvious warning signs of impending global conflict?

The war exposes the hopes, dreams, and true mettle of men and women in all the countries involved in the conflict, which the authors perceptively realize in eight brief yet remarkable stories. These talented writers depict the unbearable events and the subsequent reactions to this horrendous day, when thousands died following the attack by Japanese planes. Before the stories begin, summaries of the facts and motives leading up to the attack are clearly stated. Afterward, each author offers sources, a brief bibliography, and websites with photographs and more information. These simple stories, nicely crafted accounts of the notorious “day of infamy” 75 years ago and its aftermath, depict the diverse responses to this event that changed lives forever. Highly recommended historical fiction.