Never Forsaken

A young woman's gripping account of faith, courage, and survival before, during, and after World War II

Non-Fiction - Biography
299 Pages
Reviewed on 02/15/2021
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Author Biography

Cindy Scott is the author of Never Forsaken, the incredible story of her mother’s life, as well as her first book.

Cindy was born in the Philippines and grew up in Manila. When she was just 11 years old, her family moved to the United States where she had to start a new life in a new country. She spent 29 years as an Air Force spouse living all over the US and in Europe, serving on the leadership board of officers’ spouses clubs for 20 of those years. Together Cindy and her husband Wayne also spent 25 years in marriage ministry. They retired to Southern California in 2005.

In addition to her new passion for writing, Cindy is an accomplished artist and has completed oil paintings of several locations her family visited or lived in during their Air Force career.

Cindy and Wayne have lived in Yorba Linda, California, since 2006, following their 29 years of service to our nation in the United States Air Force. They have two sons and four grandchildren.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

Marion Ghent spent the last fifteen years of her life writing her World War II memoirs. Sadly, she never saw her book published as she passed away. Thankfully, her daughter Cindy Scott made the promise of finishing what her mother had started, and the result is Never Forsaken: A Young Woman's Gripping Account of Faith, Courage, and Survival Before, During, and After World War II. War experiences are harrowing, even more so when you are the youngest of eleven children growing up on a serene plantation in Mindanao that you are forced to abandon at the outbreak of the Japanese invasion. Marion has to hide among the Moros with a feeling of uneasiness, as the Moros (ancestors of an Islamist terrorist group) fought with both foreigners and fellow Filipinos. Ghent is eventually taken by the Japanese Imperial Army to a prison camp where she witnesses the inhumane conditions of other prisoners of war.

It is heartbreaking and at the same time encouraging to read Marion’s account and those of her family and immediate friends. In such a period of turmoil, many often give up hope, but Marion found something to cling to that gave her the reason to live—her family and the grace of God. Cindy Scott’s narrative gets to the core of her mother’s story. She inhabits her mother’s memories so that the book truly feels like Marion was able to finish and publish her work. Never Forsaken is another documentation of the horrors of war, but it has an evergreen relevance that makes you recognize the indefatigable human spirit that rises in the time of adversity. In this real-life story, it comes in the form of a young woman named Marion Ghent.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Strength, faith, and courage personified
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2020
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I met Mrs. Jose when I was a young girl of about 11 years old and remember her as a kind, gentle woman with a ready smile. Never in all my life would I have imagined that she not only endured, but, ultimately overcame such difficult experiences. To read this book, was to be right there with her as she lived her life, day by day, during World War II, and the years after. It was to feel her feelings and to hear her thoughts, her fears, hopes and most importantly, her faith that God would always be there, guiding and protecting her. At first, I would read a section or two a day, but within a few days, I was reading large sections at a time, not wanting to put the book down. It drew me in and yet, frightened me, as I was experiencing with her, the terrible challenges she faced, not knowing what was coming next. Always, deeply enveloped by her and her family's faith that they would be delivered from illness, starvation, wounds, accidents, sleepless nights, protected from relentless men hunting for refugees and helpless people, and, of course, the bullets and bombings of the war occurring, literally, on their doorstep, in the middle of their days and nights. What was equally extraordinary was the beautiful description of the country with the incredible landscape and many of the warm, kind, giving people she encountered along her astounding journey. She seemed to always retain her ability to see beauty and kindness, even in the most unforgiving of circumstances. It was my great privilege to meet her daughter, the author, Cindy Scott, when they moved to San Gabriel. She was one of my very closest friends in the latter years of elementary school and I have always cherished our friendship, To be able to read about the early, formative years of her mother's life, and probably the life of many young people in the Philippines at that time, as well, as in any place ever to be descended upon by the scourge of war, is to have a small understanding of the faith, courage, and strength of a young woman, in the most formidable of circumstances. I highly recommend this book.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
A tale of extraordinary courage, fortitude, and faith under extreme situations
Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2020
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Cindy Scott composed a captivating story as told by her mother Marion, of hardships, survival, love, and faith. A very captivating read; I believe the back cover text tells it all: "A young woman's gripping account of faith, courage, and survival during and after World War II. Follow Marion Ghent as she endures the death of her father, Japanese attacks during World War II, hiding among the feared Moros on Mindanao Island, becoming a Japanese POW, escaping, and then hiding out in the mountains and rain forests just trying to survive the war. Learn the miraculous story of how she reconnects with her father's American family, then comes to the USA to live among the family and complete her education. See how her constant Faith, Courage, and Strength saw her through every trial, and how she clung to the knowledge that she was "NEVER FORSAKEN!"

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Could Not Put This Book Down
Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2021
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Started reading this book on Monday. Finished it this morning. I am very grateful that Ms. Scott kept her promise to her mother and did what she could to go through all her mother's manuscripts and notes to create this story for all ages. Her mother's story is inspiring beyond words. Even though I was not raised in a Catholic/Christian-centric home and environment, I was compelled to read about the life and experiences of Marion Ghent. Reading about her family life and her life before, during and after the war, opened up a window to what life may have been like for my late relatives who were alive in the Philippines during the 1940s.

Ms. Marion Ghent came from a big, wholesome, God-loving family and in spite of everything that happened, they all kept their faith intact. Marion's faith persevered when all seemed bleak. Marion's faith persevered when others may have abandoned their understanding of a higher power. Marion's faith continuously led her to luck, good people and positive experiences. I have never known Marion personally but after having read her story, I feel that her legacy will continue to carry on through those that take the time to read Never Forsaken.

Ms. Scott has the book structured in an excellent way. There are pictures, notes, metaphors and appendices. It is great for those who are not familiar with terms, the Philippines or key events in Philippine history. It is written in such a way that you can picture everything that happens in Ms. Marion's story of survival. I highly recommend this book to those who appreciate biographies and untold stories of WWII.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
A story of faith and survival for all ages
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2020
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I highly recommend this true story story of a young Christian's girl's experiences surviving in the Philippines during WWII. It was written by an Air Force wife I had the pleasure of knowing at my husband's first duty station when he was lucky enough to be assigned as her husband's sponsor . During that time I had the privilege of meeting Marion, the heroine of the book, and the author's mother. I learned bits of her story back then, but never realized what she had actually gone through. This book will appeal to history buffs of all ages. Those with a heart for missions will be blessed by the story Marion's father's unusual conversion experience and his work with The American Bible Society and missionary, Dr. Frank Laubach.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Absolutely riveting and heartwarming story of strength, faith, tenacity and love
Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2020
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This book, although my knowledge of history is not vast, was incredibly riveting and i found myself immersed well past bedtime. The story of survival, the strength, conviction of faith, the tenacity and love this family had for each other and so many others, is something this world could only hope for. My emotions ebbed n flowed through the book and kept calling me back. I recommend this book to anyone with a love of history or not, desire for suspenseful drama, love, faith, strength, patriotism, commitment...basically, I recommend this book. To all persons.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Gripping Story
Reviewed in the United States on January 4, 2021
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Because I had the honor of knowing Marion personally, it was especially interesting to read of her childhood in prewar Philippines and the dramatic impact and change WWII brought to her life and the country she grew up in. Her story takes you into her life through her own words and her own perceptions as a child and on through her teenage years as she and her family run and trust God for their lives. Her fears, her faith, and her tenacity are told first hand through a young girl's eyes. Her daughter Cindy beautifully tells her mother's story by adding the history surrounding Marion's story and filling in the gaps for the reader to reveal the historical significance of the Ghent family's survival and journey dodging the enemy and trusting God for every meal, every day, and for their survival. Marion's faith continued on into her adult life and she never waivered from it. Her relationship and dependence on God was cemented in her earliest years in this harrowing story. Read it with an open heart and let her story show you God's never ending goodness and love for his children.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
gripping historical narrative
Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2021
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This book is a valuable first person historical report of one person and her family's survival in occupied Philippines during WWII. It's a detailed and personal account of what it was like to run for one's life during war. The privations and dangers are presented clearly and without unnecessary hyperbole. It is thoughtfully organized to include maps and the context of life before the war and after so that one has a picture and appreciation of the area and the extreme experiences and circumstances that Marion Ghent faced as a young woman. One also senses Marion's fear, courage, faith and hard work that carried her through the experience and out the other side to live a rich and meaningful life. It does all of this without "preachiness". The book is a "home grown" book which adds rather than detracts from the straightforward force of what it provides the reader. When you read it, you know you are getting the unexpurgated story of one family's war journey and original materials that no one but those involved could in fact provide. Cindy Jose used her mother's manuscripts and interviewed Marion for hours as they both put together the basis for the book which they knew Cindy would faithfully and lovingly complete after Marion was gone. The world is better for having accurate first person reports. And its a gripping worthwhile read.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Thank you for this beautiful piece of history!
Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2020
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I'm halfway through this book, and it is so heartwarming. God's hand is so apparent, and it reminds me of Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." My imagination is at work as the writer vividly describes the Philippines' beautiful lush landscape and provides detailed maps and explanations of the locations. It was a way to learn about WWII in such a personal way, and I felt like I was transported to that era.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Inspiring and True Story
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2020
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This is the true story of a most inspiring young woman’s account of surviving during WWII in the Philippines.
It is fascinating and emotional.
It gives us, in vivid detail, Marion’s daily life that brings sorrow or perplexity as she exerts her energy to survive.
It makes one wonder how those events could happen.
I am grateful that Cindy Scott wrote Never Forsaken.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
History, family and faith in God all wrapped up in one spellbinding true story.
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2020
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Miraculous and inspiring true account of a Philippine -American family thru several wars and tribulations. At times frightening and life threatening but always with faith in God to carry them through. Well written and documented to perfection. Written by the daughter of Marion Ghent and based on Marion's written manuscripts. I've known Cindy and Wayne Scott for over 50 years and an just now learning this incredible story. A must read.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Jesus Loves you!
Reviewed in the United States on November 24, 2020
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This story is an excellent example of God's love for you and His provision and protection. In this gripping life story of Marion Ghent, it is a constant reminder of the Lord never leaving you or forsaking you. That no matter what you are going through, that our Savior is there with us getting us to victory. That we must not lose faith in our trials but believe that He is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. This is a Must read for those who are looking for positive testimony of the Grace of God and always believe that no matter what, you are Never Forsaken!

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Faith and family!
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2020
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This book is the amazing first person story of one young woman and her family before, during and after World War II. It is easy to read and includes additional information about the historical context. I read a lot of history. Some stories can be very dry and poorly told. Never Forsaken is very real. It is also very relevant to those of us who have faith in God. I am very impressed not only that Marion survived, but that she went on to thrive. This book is a testament to God's promise to never leave us or forsake us!

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Perseverance, Faith, & Love of Family
Reviewed in the United States on December 6, 2020
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This harrowing and personal account of World War II in the Philippines as experienced by a young woman & her family is gripping and heart rending, yet up lifting and inspiring at the same time. To live for years with such fear, uncertainty, and deprivation is hard to fathom for those of us who have never experienced such things. Yet, the all pervasive love of God and reliance on Him woven throughout is so inspiring. Thank you Cindy Scott for sharing your Mother’s story, it’s one I won’t soon forget.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Inspiring
Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2021
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Never Forsaken is an inspiring retelling of a teenager's faith, determination, and struggle to stay alive during World War II. The book provided a personal perspective of the horror of war. I had the good fortune to know Mrs. Jose and would never have known that she endured such circumstances. Her story is truly one of faith and the belief that God will always provide.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Suspenseful, authentic story of faith!
Reviewed in the United States on November 23, 2020
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What a suspenseful, incredible story! If you want a perfectly, polished autobiography, this is not for you. But if you are interested in a real life drama with edge of your seat suspense written as sweet, authentic story of a woman of faith that overcame incredible obstacles with such bravery, this is a worthy read. I could hardly put it down!

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Riveting account of a woman's perseverance and incredible courage !
Reviewed in the United States on February 10, 2021
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Incredible factual account of a woman's courage and riveting perseverance that you won't be able to put down.
Cindy describes in written detail the unforgettable journey of her mother and documents the real story with priceless photographs. I truly wish that this remarkable book could be made into a movie because it reminds us of why family, faith, courage, strength, and "never give up" are the foundations of character - too easily forgotten in today's world. BRAVO, Cindy, and God bless you and your family.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
A testament to faith and family
Reviewed in the United States on January 20, 2021
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A moving, well- organized, engaging story of endurance. I learned so much more about WWII in the Philippines and the history of the people and cultures, too. Enjoyable read as it didn’t get bogged down with too much detail and just the right amount of revisiting past detail to keep the reader reminded of how people were related. Full of humanity even during near unsurvivable circumstances. So, this is a very worthwhile book to read.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Compelling immigration story
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2020
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Such a compelling story of the horrors that immigrants often face before coming to our country. This is a must-read for those who have an interest in immigration.

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5.0 out of 5 stars
Have courage and trust in God.
Reviewed in the United States on December 7, 2020
I like to read true story books and I definitely loved this book. It had a great deal of material drawn from the author's own well-researched historical facts and her mother’s own notes. I was able to learn a little about each member of the family who had lived and that died during her Mom’s generation during the Spanish American War and World War II. It was very descriptive, full of details, sad, happy, gruesome and such bravery. I couldn't put the book down it was that good. This truly was an amazing true story.

Amazon Reviewer

5.0 out of 5 stars
"Omnia Vincit Amor" Love Conquers All
Reviewed in the United States on November 10, 2020
This phrase which is found in history and in the Bible is exemplified in this Biography , well written by Cindy Scott. I can feel her heart, empathy and compassion for the person she is writing about .. This book is also filled with well-researched historical facts during the Spanish American War and World War II.
"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, ... Love never ends'."
1 Corinthian 13:7 This is the story of Marion Ghent.

Amazon Reviewer

5.0 out of 5 stars
Remarkable story that needed to be told.
Reviewed in the United States on December 28, 2020
As a historian who specializes in 20th century history, I could hardly wait to read Marion Ghent's story. But it is so much more than just a World War II story; it's a story about faith, family, surviving, and ultimately, finding yourself. There are so many life lessons packed into this book. The rich descriptions of events make you feel as if you are living in the moment with Ghent. Cindy Scott honored her mother's legacy by sharing this awe-inspiring story. I highly recommend "Never Forsaken."

CBM Book Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars
I Loved Reading Never Forsaken
Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2021

Never Forsaken is a labor of love told by Cindy Scott, the daughter of Marion Ghent Jose Lau. Her mother’s memoir reaches back in time to the early 1900’s, through WWII, to present day. Cindy Scott spent two years gathering the several manuscripts her mother penned over fifteen years and combined them with taped interviews to fill in the gaps. The finished work fulfills her promise before her mother's death to see this book, Never Forsaken, published.

Never Forsaken is a true-life testimony of survival and restoration after WWII, including the big move to America for a better life. I was hooked from the first chapter. Marion’s rendition of life back then, her father’s radical transformation, becoming born again after being a drinker and gambler, reeled me right in. With a tinge of humor in the section of Papa’s new life, this is a touching sentiment of how the Word of God broke through such a calloused heart.

Readers will find Marion Ghent’s harrowing journey as a young girl in the Philippines an amazing adventure. Being the youngest of eleven living siblings and the daughter of a colporteur for the American Bible Society, surely this story is an inspiring read that relates God’s absolute faithfulness and how He works in the humblest of ways. The book also relays the efforts of the foot soldiers of the Gospel, and reveals the treasure of how the Gospel goes forth.

The Ghent’s surviving the shock of war and the tragedies that followed, shed light on loss, but a strong, persevering faith that comes to fruition in finding a new life in America. Certainly, this may be a movie in the making. Exciting, touching, and a powerful story, amazing endurance unfolds during some of life’s pivotal moments, relating Marion’s tale of never being forsaken by God.

Leading to a triumphant restoration with long lost family members after the scattering of the War years, the author takes readers from beginning to an end of an era long gone. One will be left in awe and find inspiration to all that Marion Ghent and her relatives had to go through during those humble years in the Philippines, escaping and hiding in the jungle for three years. In this miraculous book, history literally unfolds as the awful horrors of war in a foreign country.

Cindy Scott has culminated history and the telling of Marion's story, and her life experience that also includes photos, maps, text and indexes explaining these far off and quite exotic places in the Philippines. What an amazing read!

One will find that faith, courage, and overcoming do not come without struggles. Yet, God is ever faithful!

This book comes highly recommended for those that enjoy true-life war stories, happy endings, with God in the mix! I sincerely hope this book becomes a movie. For me, as one who reads many books, this one was truly memorable and unforgettable.