Title: Within the Walls of Santo Tomas: A saga of captivity and survival in Manila during World War II
Author: Betty Bryon and Cassius Mullen
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Reviewer: Joyce Faulkner
ISBN (links go to the MWSA Amazon store): 1617773743
'Do you believe that what we do in life comes back to haunt us later?' 'You mean like fate comes along and throws you a curve ball when you least expect it?' 'Yes, exactly.' 'There are so many strange things that happen to people, nothing surprises me anymore.' 'I think life is a mirror. What you do reflects back at you.' Former army nurse Molly Martin has never forgotten her experience in the internment camp at Santo Tomas University during World War II. The horrors she witnessed in her younger days are burned in her brain, along with the memories of the people who walked with her through hell and the enemies who put them all through it. When she sees a picture in the paper of the doctor that committed some of the worst war crimes and got away, she knows it is time to tell her story. It is the last chance for justice. Travel back to 1942, when twenty-eight-year-old Molly Martin's life was changed forever. She and other army nurses and soldiers are taken from Corregidor to Manila, where they are imprisoned by the Japanese within the walls of Santo Tomas University with innocent US and Allied civilians. Molly leads the nurses in establishing a hospital in the former gymnasium, and they attempt to make the best of things. Soon Molly and her friend Clara befriend an ingenious teenage boy nicknamed Scrounger, who uses his skills to make life tolerable for the internees. Over a three-year period, Molly and the internees suffer greatly. Food and medicine are hard to come by, and the commandant becomes harsher. A sinister doctor carries out cruel experiments on selected internees, resulting in more death. Things become even more difficult as the American army draws nearer. But Molly is determined to make it out alive, to make the evil pay for their wrongdoings. Will Molly see justice before her days end? Go Within the Walls of Santo Tomas to find out.