Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Peril on the Sea

This intriguing II World War novel is set in the Pacific arena and begins soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It's a time of high anxiety as the Japanese, German and Italian Axis threaten the peace of the world.

A student of Naval history, J D VerHoeven's debut novel gives a highly detailed portrayal of the vicious Japanese attack on the Northern Australian town of Darwin, an important port used by the Allies. His vivid description of the terrible carnage and loss of life in the air-sea battles makes you believe he personally experienced it.

Peril on the Sea is an emotionally charged, high-octane setting for a love story between a newly married couple almost immediately separated in this time of war. Communication being almost impossible, it becomes a true test of their Christian values as many temptations arise with neither knowing where the other is, or even whether they remain alive.

This book strikes a chord with me, because as a very young child, I well remember the scary blackouts, the Japanese submarine attack on Sydney Harbor, and the loneliness my mother experienced when my RAAF dad was away for the duration. He was mainly stationed at Port Moresby in Papua new Guinea. Now history has revealed how close we folk from Down Under came to being overrun by the Japanese. With all mail censored, the Australian gov/t at the time was able to withhold this knowledge from its citizens, probably fearing panic...who really knows?

This novel published by Liberty Press, is the first of  this war time series and can be purchased from Amazon. Jonathan will send a copy of Peril on the Sea to the winner of those commenting on this review. Can any of you readers recall memories of your childhood during the war? The bad times, or the good, when people hung in there together? Or is this merely a distant time of world war you've only seen on TV, and something only your grandparents remember?

Reviewed by Rita Stella Galieh  www.ritastellagalieh.com
Fire in the Rock  pub. Arkhouse Press


  1. Wow. As a thirty-something Australian I had no idea that Sydney was under attack from the Japanese. Sadly, too, my knowledge of the bombing of Darwin is very limited. I'd really love to read this book.

  2. I'm so sorry! I accidentally posted this comment on the following blog entry in error.

    WWII was a frightening time. I lived with my mother's parents while she worked the extra board for the railroad. Her two brothers were in the military service. The elder was a machinists mate on the Saratoga, a US carrier.

    I well remember the day the Japanese broadcast that they had sunk the "Sara." My grandmother stiffened her back and firmed her jaw til it made Mount Rushmore look like quivering jelly. Then the phone rang. It was my uncle calling to tell her that they had taken a hit and were safely in dry dock in Bremerton, Washington.

    She sat down on the little black enameled chair by the phone and shook for five minutes. It was the only time in my life I saw her weep. She pulled herself together and disappeared into her bedroom.

    Half an hour later she emerged, as serene as a swan on a calm pond. She never mentioned it again.

    It seems to me that the fabric of our national character has changed since those days. Values were different; emotions were controlled; manners were important. That seems to be less the case today.

  3. I just want to say it's fascinating to hear personal stories from that time period. It would make an interesting anthology in itself!

  4. My father, a Mennonite, received exemption from the war to farm. Several of his brothers were sent to Vancouver Island as loggers to support the war effort. My husband lost several relatives in both the big wars. I think he'd love to read this book!

  5. Rita, thank you for the information about this book. Had not heard of it until now. My memories of WWII are zilch except during that time that my Dad rented a house in a small rural town in Queensland - Pittsworth for you Aussies - where I first started school. He worked our farm from there until we moved back before christmas in 1946. Until the movie, Australia, many Australians were not aware of how bad the attack on Darwin was. Many Americans on naval ships also died in the harbour there.
    Definitely on my "To Buy" list.