- Paperback: 236 pages
- Publisher: Cecily Mattocks Marshall; 1st edition (December 28, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0979059879
- ISBN-13: 978-0979059872
- Package Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,343,867 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Happy Life Blues A Memoir of Survival Paperback – December 28, 2007
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About the Author
Cecily Mattocks Marshall lives in West Boylston and Sandwich, Massachusetts. She is the mother of four and grandmother of fifteen. A graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, she taught school for many years, most recently in the Clinton, Massachusetts Public School System where she served as Coordinator of the Bilingual Education Department.
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The reader knows there were unspeakable horrors in the camps, but Cecily avoids details. Her life in imprisonment was experienced as a child, but now is expressed through the words of an adult. Cecily's account shows a delicate balance between the facts of her young life and her later perception of it all. This is very hard to do, but Cecily did an outstanding job.
I knew Cecily in our sophomore year at Middlebury College. We lived a few rooms apart in Willard Hall which housed about 25 girls. One day we asked Cecily about her war experiences, but she divulged very little. As best we could from our sheltered lives, we understood and respected her position of silence.
I am so glad Cecily has written this wonderful book. She has walked the line of discretion beautifully, and has finally given answers to the questions we asked her as college girls some 57 years ago. The beauty of this book is that it gives perspective to all of our lives and shows us what is important in life. It is definitely a five star plus book. Thank you, Cecily!
The book itself looked like it came right off the printer...so its overall conditon was excellent. The seller appropriately listed the condition of the book and expeditiously handled the mailing. I would buy from them again.
On December 8, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and Luzon. A month later, when they attacked Zamboanga, the Mattocks family moved up to the mountains of Mindanao to hide where they lived primitively before surrendering to the Japanese. They were first placed in the Davoa Camp for one year. They were then moved to the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila in 1943 and survived a weeklong, rat-infested, dark, claustrophobic journey on the Japanese military transport ship Shinsei Maru #1. They lived on hoofs and heads of livestock on that horrendous trip. The 12-year-old Cecily Mattocks joined the camp with about 4,000 American, British and other Allied nationals as a prisoner of war.
On February 3, 1945 General MacArthur's First Cavalry's Flying Column and the 44th Tank Battalion liberated the Santo Tomas Internment Camp. Four days later he visited the camp to announce victory. That same afternoon the Japanese bombed the main building of the camp killing many who had been celebrating freedom just hours earlier. By early March, things were secured again and by April 1945 the Mattocks family and other prisoners of war were on their way back to the United States.
Happy Life Blues is a memoir sprinkled with diary entries from the author and her parents all of whom survived the four grueling years of hiding out, concentration camps and starvation with strength and dignity. The book is beautifully designed with a scrapbook of pictures and mementoes from Cecily Mattocks Marshall's 14 years in the Philippines. Happy Life Blues is a well written book full of chilling accounts of life as a POW and a teenager's experiences in the thick of World War II.