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Reviewed by Maria Victoria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
Our Family's Story of Survival as POWs in the Philippines: A World War II Memoir is a gripping narrative co-authored by siblings Pamela J. Brink, Robert A. Brink, and John W. Brink. Narrated from three perspectives, the book gives readers a vivid and layered chronicle of how this American family endured the horrors of being prisoners of war. Colonized by the USA, the Philippines was home to some adventurous Americans, and together with their parents Myron and Maude, the Brink family had a privileged life in the country until the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941 and the USA entered the war. Taken as prisoners of war when the Japanese invaded the country, they endured years of incarceration and survived to tell the tale. This is their story.
Pamela J. Brink, Robert A. Brink, and John W. Brink’s Our Family's Story of Survival as POWs in the Philippines is a heart-wrenching account of a family’s struggle for survival in a World War II Japanese prison camp. It also demonstrates the lives and experiences of an American family living in the Philippines before the war broke out and the lasting impact of the war on the family. The different writing styles and perceptions of the three authors enhance the overall narrative with Pamela expertly weaving together her own recollections with meticulous research and historical detail. I find Robert's vivid portrayal of the physical and emotional effects of starvation especially gripping, with its enduring effects on the family's physical and emotional well-being. Claire Wislizenus's perspective at the end of the book further enriches the narrative, adding another layer of depth to the overall story. This is a must-read for historians for a first-hand account. Highly recommended!