Searching for Friday's Child
by Marjorie Irish Randell
Trafford Publishing

"It was a freeing for all of us. There wasn't a one of us in the hold of that ship that wasn't praying for a direct hit and release from what was worse than death."

There have been many stories about the Bataan Death March and the Japanese cruelties during World War II. But unlike books about war tactics and the strategies of military leaders, this book depicts the courage and willpower of war prisoners and tells a story of an everyday soldier. The fact that that soldier was the author's brother brings a perspective that is very personal.

Jack Irish was a farm boy raised in a close-knit family. He spent most of the war years as a prisoner of the Japanese. His family, however, spent over fifty years tracking down those who were with him during the last few years of his life. From his early childhood to his work on the farm to his college scholarship won by raising turkeys and chickens, Jack was a person with great potential.

Randell's story expands beyond her brother and tells her story through the eyes of all those involved. She includes the thinking of the Japanese at the time; the reluctance of soldiers to reveal too much for fear of creating more hardships on those still imprisoned; and the thoughts and feelings of the survivors fifty years after their escape. Their awkwardness at owning a Japanese car and their forgiveness of their own military for bombing the ships that held so many of the prisoners speaks a lot about forgiveness. Randell invites readers to remember her brother's sacrifice in WWII and to ponder the losses and hardships of soldiers in all the wars since then.

Many families attempt to compile a book using stockpiled letters in an effort to preserve the memory of a loved one. This author has been successful in putting those letters within a framework of history. Her hard work and thorough research is evident and can now be appreciated by all.

RECOMMENDED by the US Review

Return to USR Home