Dawn of a Thousand Nights by Tricia Goyer

Powerful characters step off the page into the reader’s heart as Tricia Goyer develops her third compelling World War II novel, Dawn of a Thousand Nights. It feels real, with newspaper quotes at the beginning of every chapter. Goyer’s massive research supports her accurate descriptions of Pearl Harbor, the horror of the Bataan death march and Japanese prisons. She also interviewed many of the veterans who experienced these atrocities. Some of their stories are available on her web site, http://www.thegoyers.com/shareyourstory.htm.
There’s romance between two pilots, Libby Conners and Dan Lukens. Their love blossoms in Hawaii. It culminates in “I’ll wait for you” promises like many thousands that echoed around the world as the Japanese ignited WWII. But faith and the reality of war supersede romance in Goyers’ powerful story. Libby and Dan actually spend most of their days apart as both face death of friends and comrades amid horrific circumstances. Their faith and forgiveness has to grow or wither in bitterness. Both choose faith in God and in each other.
Libby is in the air, giving flight lessons on December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. She offers help in the midst of carnage and eventually travels to the U.S. She joins the newly-organized WAFS (Women’s Air Ferrying Squadron) delivering planes to various points in the U.S., relieving male pilots for war duty. She waits for Dan, regardless of reports that he could never have survived. A potential suitor appears, but Libby determines to wait.
Dan, fighter pilot and former UCLA football star, flies with his squadron from Hawaii to the Philippines. He experiences destruction of the United States’ air power, death and injury to many of his comrades, starvation, malaria and fear. He offers help and friendship anywhere he can. Will he survive the atrocities as a POW, marching in the Bataan Death March, and gasping for air in the hold of an ancient ship taking him to work in the Japanese mines? How will he endure days and weeks of solitary confinement in a four-foot by four-foot cell?
The third main character, Natsuo Hidki, a Japanese interpreter, attended UCLA and developed a deep friendship with Dan before he returned to Japan. How will he balance his allegiance to his country and the fact that Dan once saved his life?
Goyer’s gripping story will make you forget to eat dinner, or sleep.
Dawn of a Thousand Nights by Tricia Goyer
(Moody Publishers: ISBN 0-8024-40855-9
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