The Jersey Brothers

  • by Sally Mott Freeman
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
  • 18 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The extraordinary real-life adventure of three brothers at the center of the most dramatic turning points of World War II and their mad race to change history - and save one of their own.
They are three brothers, all navy men, who end up coincidentally and extraordinarily at the epicenter of three of the war's most crucial moments. Bill is picked by Roosevelt to run his first map room in Washington. Benny is the gunnery and antiaircraft officer on the USS Enterprise, one of the only carriers to escape Pearl Harbor and by the end of 1942 the last one left in the Pacific to defend against the Japanese. Barton, the youngest and least distinguished of the three, is shuffled off to the Navy Supply Corps because his mother wants him out of harm's way. But this protection plan backfires when Barton is sent to the Philippines and listed as missing in action after a Japanese attack. Now it is up to Bill and Benny to find and rescue him.
Based on 10 years of research drawn from archives around the world, interviews with fellow shipmates and POWs, and primary sources including diaries, unpublished memoirs, and letters half forgotten in basements, The Jersey Brothers is a remarkable story of agony and triumph - from the home front to Roosevelt's White House and Pearl Harbor to Midway and Bataan. It is the story, written with intimate, novelistic detail, of an ordinary young man who shows extraordinary courage as the Japanese do everything short of killing him. And it is, above all, a story of brotherly love: of three men finding their loyalty to each other tested under the tortures of war - and knowing that their success or failure to save their youngest brother will shape their family forever.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Brothers Unbroken

While "The Jersey Brothers" isn't a perfect book, I couldn't stand the thought of a 4-star rating bringing it down when it's a story that deserves to be heard. It's kind of what I'd hoped "The Matthews Men" would be: a bit like "Unbroken" but with brothers to root for, to care mightily about.
Benny, on The Enterprise, is in the thick of some of the most amazing action, but he has heartache and a broken family life to bear. Bill, the forgotten brother who now is the right-hand man of many individuals noted for their fame and courage, does all he can, to the point of having his flawed eye-sight waived, and his ulcers ignored, just so he can be in true action rather than just in the map room. And Barton, the youngest and favored son, finds that he is actually a man of true strength and courage: not the one who takes but the one who gives.
And then there's Helen--the mom of all moms, helpless but determined and with a pen that spews poison at times. She'll do all she can to save her son(s).
Chronicled are battles, strategic actions, the cruelty of Japanese captors and everything in between. The action is close and immediate, the details stunning in their ability to capture essences--of true humanity, of horrific war, of gruesome crimes and punishment.
I was totally carried away by the story, and Cassandra Campbell is a truly talented narrator carrying off action, the many voices of the many characters, the heartbreaking and heartfelt emotion of the situations.
Really: just an awesome, awesome story by Mott Freeman. I would be just as proud as she to have such human frailty, such heroism, in my family tree.
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- Gillian

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-09-2017
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio