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The Unsurrendered Paperback – January 9, 2013
From the Author
I hope that all of the readers enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. It took me the better part of a year because of all the research that was involved, but it was a labor of love. In the process of research, I read books by many people who were guerrillas in the Philippines, and I learned how giving and thankful the Filipinos were to have the Americans on their side. They gave them food, shelter, and most of all, encouragement. Many worked side by side with their allies. Most of the coastwatchers, who made an incredible difference in the fight, were Filipinos. They knew their islands and its inhabitants. I even felt the emotions of the forming of the groups, the Manila Massacre, and the pride that every Filipino hopefully feels in their fellow countrymen for their fight and spirit.
About the Author
Joyce Shaughnessy lives in Midland, Texas with her husband, Dennis, a physician. They have two married daughters and four granddaughters. They own a large library of books, both classic and contemporary.
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Here is a quote about the heroine, Carla, which sums up her experience: “She had learned the difficult lesson of survival, as well as the art of rationalization.”
I only gave the book 4 stars instead of 5 because of a fair number of typos and a tendency to tell not show what the characters were feeling or doing. Not sure if the book had a professional proofreader or developmental editor, but I would have liked more development of how Jacob and Carla met and fell in love since it seems a bit odd for an upper level American spy to marry a Filipino. Starting a marriage in the middle of guerrilla fighting is certainly unique, so more scenes where Jacob and Carla are together and encountering firsthand the swelteringly hot and humid weather, exhaustion from hacking down brush with bolo knives, endless mosquitoes, huge snakes, terrifying fear during their encounter with a Japanese soldier, no privacy etc might help put us into their heads more (deep point of view) and fully relate to the challenges their new marriage faced.
These minor issues aside, Joyce is to be commended for all the research she did before writing this book. I also appreciate that she wrote it as a novel instead of a dry, boring non-fiction. I'm glad I read the book!
World War II historian Joyce Shaughnessy's book, The Unsurrendered, is well-founded in American and Filipino history.
At the very beginning of World War II, the Japanese drove American forces and Gen. Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines to the disgrace of America. In May 1942, Gen. Wainwright signed a document by which he unconditionally surrendered all American and Filipino troops in the Philippines to Japanese Gen. Masaharu Homma. Additionally, by radio broadcast from Manila, he requested all American commanders to surrender to the enemy.
What followed was the Corregidor Death March and the horrible incarceration of Americans and Filipinos at Fort Santiago, Manila. Today, we think of the brutality of ISIS, but it hardly rivals the brutality of the Japanese during World War II.
However, all was not lost to the Filipino people and their American allies. Those who were not captured by the Japanese and those who would not surrender but escaped came to be known as, and in fact called themselves, "the unsurrendered," and continued the fight in creative guerrilla warfare.
This is not a dry history book, though it is based in accurate history. Shaughnessy tells the story through the eyes of two guerrillas in love. American secret agent, Jacob, and the Filipina fighter and educated daughter of a Manila doctor, Carla, fall in love while they fight side – by – side with the common goal to free the Philippines. This is a touching and heartrending story, well written, well told.
As our World War II veterans age and pass away, there is no better time to remember what they went through. Reading books such as those in Shaughnessy's trilogy, The Unsurrendered being one, will ensure we never forget.