Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Sisters Under the Rising Sun by Heather Morris


In the midst of World War II, an English musician, Norah Chambers, places her eight-year-old daughter Sally on a ship leaving Singapore, desperate to keep her safe from the Japanese army as they move down through the Pacific. Norah remains to care for her husband and elderly parents, knowing she may never see her child again.

Sister Nesta James, a Welsh Australian nurse, has enlisted to tend to Allied troops. But as Singapore falls to the Japanese she joins the terrified cargo of people, including the heartbroken Norah, crammed aboard the
Vyner Brooke merchant ship. Only two days later, they are bombarded from the air off the coast of Indonesia, and in a matter of hours, the Vyner Brooke lies broken on the seabed.

After surviving a brutal 24 hours in the sea, Nesta and Norah reach the beaches of a remote island, only to be captured by the Japanese and held in one of their notorious POW camps. The camps are places of starvation and brutality, where disease runs rampant. Sisters in arms, Norah and Nesta fight side by side every day, helping whoever they can, and discovering in themselves and each other extraordinary reserves of courage, resourcefulness and determination.



About The Author

Heather Morris is a native of New Zealand, now resident in Australia. For several years, while working in a large public hospital in Melbourne, she studied and wrote screenplays, one of which was optioned by an Academy Award-winning screenwriter in the US. In 2003, Heather was introduced to an elderly gentleman who ‘might just have a story worth telling’. The day she met Lale Sokolov changed both their lives. Their friendship grew and Lale embarked on a journey of self-scrutiny, entrusting the innermost details of his life during the Holocaust to her. Heather originally wrote Lale’s story as a screenplay – which ranked high in international competitions – before reshaping it into her debut novel, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.


My Review


This is a story that needed to be told, women interned during WWII, they were along side the men, but separate.
As I have heard life was not easy and the length of time there was long, I can't even imagine, such courage, and you will learn of the atrocities that are committed, and the title of this read tells whom!
This read begins in Singapore as the area is being invaded, and people start fleeing, and we see the heartbreak as families are separated.
We are with the fateful sinking of the SS Vyner Brook, filled with Welch Australian Nurses, along with a large group of civilians, as we begin this journey. Yes, for the next three years and seven months, we focus on these brave woman and how some survived, and the author has done a wonderful job of bringing this story alive, we need to remember! We put names to these women and walk in their shoes, or bare feet, as they go about surviving and helping take care of each other.
It was not lost on me as to when the Red Cross packages came out!
I loved how the book was wrapped up and the updates given in the epilogue. A book not to be missed!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher St. Martin's Press, and was not required to give a positive review.

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