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Book Review | Beside A Burning Sea by John Shors

November 11, 2008

Beside A Burning Sea
Web site for Beside A Burning Sea
NAL Trade, September ’08
448 pages
Historical fiction (WWII)
Book sent to me by the author
Book #101/08

So it’s official I’ve started a new relationship and it’s one I see as having a very long life. This is the second book by Mr. Shors I’ve read and I most certainly intend to read his 3rd and 4th books which I know are in works. I’m a fan and have been since I read Beneath a Marble Sky this past spring. 

Mr. Shors writes love stories. Not your average, everyday romantic, giddy love story but the gut wrenching, soul searching kind. The kind of love you’d lay your life on the line for. The kind some of us spend our lives searching for. If we’re lucky enough to find this kind of love we treasure and value it because it’s worth everything to us and we don’t want to waste the gift we’ve been given.

The basic story line is a medical ship is attacked and sinks during WWII. The survivors find themselves on an island in the South Pacific that is strategically located for both the US and Japan. They spend their days and nights trying to survive until rescued. The survivors include the ship’s captain and his wife, a nurse. Her sister also a nurse. Another nurse, a young stowaway, a Japanese prisoner of war, and 3 crew members. All is not peace and harmony among these people and danger lurks within their numbers.

While battling the elements and each other several different love stories unfold. The captain and his wife who try to piece back together their lives and love, attempting to reconnect after the rigors and stress of war have torn them apart. One of nurse’s struggles with her feelings for 2 vastly different men. She’s engaged to man who has it all but cares little for her. On the island she finds herself quietly falling in love with man few would approve of and has nothing to offer except himself, his poetry and his deep, abiding love for her. The crew member who seeks only to survive so that he can get back home to his family who he misses beyond words. Another crew member who befriends the young stowaway and finds that he cares deeply for this child, as a parent would, and will go to any lengths to reunite him with his family.

Lest you suspect that this is all love story our intrepid survivors must battle the island, the elements, themselves and the enemy. Beating the odds is paramount beyond all else. Coming out on the other side is essential.

So … I loved it, I recommend it.

  1. November 11, 2008 6:13 pm

    Ooh, this book is on my wishlist! I’m so glad you liked it. I really enjoyed Beneath a Marble Sky and now I’m looking forward to reading this one even more.
    I enjoyed both equally for but for different reasons.

  2. November 11, 2008 7:13 pm

    Great review. These are the kinds of stories I enjoy reading. Another for the wish list.
    Thank you. Reading book blogs does that ~ add to wish lists. Mine is starting to resemble the Tower of Pisa.

  3. November 11, 2008 7:41 pm

    I’ve got to get my hands on this book! It sounds great and I’m always looking for good WWII books. Thanks for the recommendation!
    You’re welcome. You can’t go wrong with a John Shors book.

  4. November 11, 2008 8:04 pm

    I have a signed copy of this book I will be giving away starting this Friday over at Up For Grabs.

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