Always amazing to me the irony of situations. After my blog writing mentioning this years Death March in White Sands New Mexico, I came across one of the books I located with Amazon. Tears In The Darkness The story of the Bataan Death March and Its Aftermath. I was waltzing throughout the library on my bi-weekly escape to locate reading material for myself and children, when as I was staring at shelves upon shelves of written treasure, the aforementioned title stuck out much like a sore thumb or a hot pink shirt amongst business suits. Of course the first thought that came to mind was, “I wonder how much time I have left until my husband is back to pick me up?”, then next and much more importantly of course was, “wow it must be a sign, I have to read this book!”.
Next, of course, I cradled the book in amongst the Bernstein Bears, and numerous other beginning readers and hauled my catch up to the check-outs. I heaved my tote bag up on the scanner and in a jiff, was off to a cozy and quiet section of the foyer awaiting my ride. So what was a girl to do after so much excitement with nothing more than to wait? Read of course. I took the book out of the my bag with a bit of sadness clutched it in my other hand, and prepared myself to start what I knew would be a difficult journey. With humble eyes I looked down at the title and realized, somewhere my inner child had gotten to my book selection before I did because I was holding a Bear story about spring cleaning, so not as gingerly as before I stuffed the child’s book back into the bag and with less distraction located my new journey into history.
I have been working my way quite steadily through Tears In The Darkness. I can say that I appreciate this book for a number of reasons. I enjoy the manner in which it was written, which at first threw me, however I have come to. Being a girl from the northern part of the states I feel a connection with the character most prominent in the story, although his life certainly was a wake-up call to my own naive take on life. I appreciate the view it gives on many people involved with the war at the time, many times I have caught myself reminding that in an argument there are always two sides. This book reminds you that in the worst of situations and feuds there are still two sides to the story, in fact there are two sides to the war completely aside from the main fight itself. The view-point of the American infantrymen and the view-point of the Japanese infantrymen both have something great to teach!
As you may be able to imagine this book is not guarding against what was happening to so many precious lives. Suffering and death are described and drawn very graphically for your mind’s eye. This would not be a book to hand a sensitive person, child, or student without careful consideration and plenty of time to help reflection. However, I think it to be an excellent educational tool, and may later recommend it to much older children who may at the the time be seeking information on this part of our history. War is not depicted a pleasant occurrence in this book, as it well should not be, but the manner of writing in this book make it easy to ready and much more difficult to put down! As I continue my journey on the “Old National Road” I am sure there is much more suffering to endure, but Oh how I long for a drink of water, something to eat, and perhaps even a safe place to sleep…. we shall see!!