on 4 September 2013
I bought this after getting fascinated by the story of these women from watching Tenko and reading the Remembering Tenko book which talked a lot about the lives of the real women prisoners. It is a story that is hard to read. The biggest difference between the real life story and that of the television show was the sheer number of women in the camps at any one time and the much higher death toll.
The book was a detailed account of the lives of some of the women. The only problem was that it was written by a journalist not a historian. Nothing was cited, and even though the author mentioned having interviewed the women, at the end it appeared that many of her direct quotes were in fact from other published books. As it is now over 30 years old in places it comes across as being rather old fashioned, not racist or sexist but there are definitely some viewpoints and terminology that would be questionable now.
That said it is an amazing tale of survival and an important piece of history that is written in an easy and accessible way. There are stories of courage and strength that you wouldn't expect that really put into perspectives problems of every day life.
on 8 March 2013
Having read the 3 Tenko novels and avidly watched the entire DVD set of Tenko, I was interested to read this book. It is informative, moving and often amusing, yet highlights the appalling way in which women were treated in the WW2 camps. Not too harrowing, and a very enjoyable, well-written book.
on 18 August 2011
Women and children were so often the forgotten people during the WW2. This book is an account of what happened to the women who were trapped in the bombing of Singapore and ultimately captured by the Japanese. Many of them were families of British Colonial service, along with nurses and medical staff, not to forget local women who were Nannies to the children.
The personal accounts paint a vivid tale of how many managed to survive the experience from 1942 until 1945, and the hundreds who did not. Altogether, I found it a very moving tale of the courage it took to live in the Tenko camps from day to day, and the care they gave to one another in the most dire conditions.
on 17 January 2008
On the synopsis and the above review, I believe both are correct and that this is the inspiration for both "Tenko" and "Paradise Road".
The author Lavinia Warner was directly involved in "Tenko", the much more recent film "Paradise Road" includes a women's vocal orchestra, certainly inspired by the one set up by their real counterparts in this book.
Fiction is great, but I found reading such a good account of the reality was far more valuable for me, if chilling.