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This is one of the most amazing stories I have ever read, rendered all the more amazing because it is pure fact, not fiction. Anyone who has any interest in the WWII action in the Pacific theater must put this on his/her reading list. As others have noted, it has echoes of "Unbroken", but not only does it cover the territory (and confirm) that book's recounting of the unspeakable horrors suffered by prisoners of war at the hands of the Japanese, it covers so many other aspects of the war in the Pacific, from Pearl Harbor to Bataan and the Philippines to the great land and sea battles including Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Leyte Gulf, the Coral Sea - all told from first hand accounts of the three brothers who were there and who could comment not only on the battles but on the commanders who ran them - MacArthur, Halsey, Nimitz, Turner and others. In addition, one of the brothers - the father of the author by the way - witnessed the early years of the war from the inner circle of the White House. He ran (actually, created) FDR's vaunted strategic "map room" and there interacted daily with the president and his war staff (as well as first lady Eleanor) before he, too, shipped out to join the war at sea. To have these three brothers all as first-hand witnesses to some of the major events of the war is itself astounding, and as you would expect, leads to some equally amazing - and heart-wrenching - tales from their home front, focusing on their indomitable mother, Helen. The author spent ten years researching this material not only from family archives but from sources scattered all over the world. She pulls it together beautifully. I couldn't put this book down. I walked extra miles just so I could keep listening and it left me in tears and emotionally drained at the end. Please read or listen to it; it is unforgettable. Brava Sally Mott Freeman!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
With a book of this nature it is very hard to know where to start. However, it is best to start by strongly recommending that anyone considering reading it, you should and quickly. It is an inspirational read about three
dedicated brothers who did what most young men of the time did, which was to enlist in support of the United States of America. Navy men all, they attended the Naval Academy, became officers in the navy & served the country with excellence. This book chronicles then taking of one of them as s POW and the effort of the others to find and liberate him. This effort went on from December of 1941 to the end of the war in mid to late 1945. The book is written by the grand niece of the POW Barton Cross. She writes with amazing emotion, having done as much research one could do during the time in history and with the limitations during the time in history. I was honored to have been given the chance to glimpse the inside of their family and the pain they had to endure during this ordeal. It made me realize that we that never had to endure the struggle these men did have little to complain about in our lives. Thank you so very much Sally Mott Freeman and thank you so very much for allowing me the honor of reading about Barton, Bill and Bennie, they certainly honored the Cross and Mott names. I loved your book!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I heard the author being interviewed on the history of world war two podcast by Ray Harris Jr. Her story sounded very interesting. The author brings you on a fascinating journey through the Pacific theatre, explaining how 3 brothers experienced the war, at almost every level. It's beautifully written, and the research is magnificent.