Along the Broken Bay

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 29 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Gina Thorpe is a priveleged American living in the Philippines with her husband, young daughter,  and their servants.  When the Japanese attack and occupy the island, imprisoning Americans in internment camps, Gina and her friend Vivian, along with their children escape to the mountains, joining a group of resistance fighters. The leader of the resistance convinces Gina to return to Manila to raise money and act as a spy. Gina eventually opens a nightclub, using the Japanese patron's money and information against them. 
This is a part of WWII I never knew about. I liked the progression of Gina's character from clueless aristocrat to a strong resistance fighter and business owner. I plan to read A Pledge of Silence, this author's first book, which is more about the internment camps. It sounds really good, too.
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Not sure what to make of this book. It’s taking a look from a different view but not one that sat well with me. Not really for me sadly
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I truly loved this book.  Along the Broken Bay by Flora J. Solomon is a WWII novel set in Manila, Philippines.  When the Japanese invade Manila, Gina takes her daughter into the mountains to evade capture.  She returns to the city to find out the fate of her husband who was captured and taken prisoner.  Thank you NetGalley and Publisher for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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I really loved this book! It takes place during WW2 in the Philippines. This was a nice take on a different part of the war. The story was engaging and nice.
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This story was very well written with historical detail of WWII in the Philippines. The characters were well defined and my emotions were in turmoil throughout this book. I highly recommend this to historical fiction fans.  
Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The war novel genre has evolved greatly over the years to now be mainly stories of the civilian life during the war. Along the Broken Bay is a story set in Manila during World War II. The novel starts with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and spans the entire war in Asian. This story centers around Gina, an American wife/mother of a wealthy man in Manila. Her husband Ray is an engineer in Manila and is taken prisoner with the other US military in the Philippines. 

This is a novel about the guerilla efforts against the Japanese in the Philippines and their funding. Gina, after escaping the Japanese invasion to their beach cottage, goes back to Manila to run a night club in order to fund the guerilla movement. She soon discovered that she can get information out of the Japanese officers that frequent her club. 

The story moves very fast as the novel spans December 1941 to December 1945. I very much enjoyed the book as it is different from the standard WWII novel that comes out now. Most are spy novels set in Europe so to get something set in Asia is nice as we seem to know less of what occurred over there. I definitely recommend.
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What a great book!  I loved it!  It was such a nice touch following the missing
husband taken prisoner early in the book!  The reader knowing the whole time
that Ray was alive.  I like reading historical fiction and this book is one of the best!

Thank you so much, Flora J. Solomon, the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the 
chance to read this wonderful book!
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I’ve read many wwii books, but never one focused on the Philippines. What horror they went through. Although it took a while to get into, this book sucked me in and I couldn’t put it down. I love learning new things about the war.
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I have always had a weak spot for historical fiction, and especially if the story is set during WWI or WWII. I admit I was sold as soon as I read the blurb of Along The Broken Bay, as you don't often see a WWII fiction setting in the Philippines and Gina's story of working in the resistance sounded absolutely fascinating. I was looking forward to fully emerge myself in what I thought would be a new favorite story, but sadly fate had a different reaction for me in store. Because while I still think that the premise of this story is fascinating, unfortunately I can't say I enjoyed the execution all that much. I'll try to explain below why.

First of all I have to state that the description of the Manila and Zambales mountains settings is thorough and gives us insight in the local flora and fauna. It made the Philippines come alive and gives this WWII fiction read an exotic vibe. I can't say I was too happy with how the local population was described though, nor how the main characters interacted with them. The demeaning way the locals, their culture and how they interacted was described left me with a very bad taste in my mouth and for me it crossed the line of racial discrimination. I think that the fact that (rich) Americans and Europeans living in Manila might have seen the locals in that way back in the 1940s is no excuse to degrade certain characters in such way. Likewise, I found Gina to be too much of a typical 'rich white woman with prejudices' cliche; her constant whining and complaining about the precarious situations she suddenly finds herself in not only distracting but also highly highly annoying. I really couldn't stand her character, and as the story was basically build around Gina, it was really hard to convince myself to stay invested in the story. In fact, I had such a strong averse reaction to her that I confess that I probably wouldn't have made it to the final page if this wouldn't have been an ARC.

The pace in Along The Broken Bay is quite slow as well, and combined with my repulsion for the main character and the way the story treated the local population I ended up struggling considerably to reach the final page. I still think the premise on its own is intriguing, and it was interesting to learn more about how the resistance operated and their network in general. The nightclub was also an interesting twist; the dangers of the operation adding a hint of suspense to the story. The little chapter introductions featuring the thoughts of Gina's husband Ray while he is separated from his family were likewise a nice touch. And while Along The Broken Bay clearly wasn't my cup of tea despite my love for the genre, I've also seen that most people seem to have a very positive reaction to this story, so definitely don't give up yet if you are intrigued by the premise.
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Great read. The author wrote a story that was interesting and moved at a pace that kept me engaged. The characters were easy to invest in.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.   Thank you NetGalley!

Along the Broken Bay is a historical fiction taking place in 1941 in Manila.     She flees with her daughter during a Japanese invasion.   Her husband went missing during this.     She sturggles with not knowing whether he is alive or dead.    She grows a bond with the us/phillippine prisoners of war and vows to protect them.
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That moment you are transported from time and place to a whole new period one in which the disturbing nature is evoking a change with a new call for all of humanity!
Flora brings you front and center with this new work set during 1941 in Manila as she flees with her daughter from Japanese invasion when her husband goes missing.
She longs to simply know whether he's alive or dead and along the way she finds a stronger connection with the US and Philippine prisoners of war who she vows to protect from Gen MacArthur.
She sets up shop literally a nightclub to raise funds for the resistance.
A story of love, loss, and downright grit is found in this new highly recommended read!
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I love it when I begin a new book and am immediately transported back in time to an exotic locale in a dangerous, exciting, period. That’s what happened when I read Flora Solomon’s latest book, “Along the Broken Bay.” I was enthralled. The characters and events are gripping and believable–they should be, they’re based on actual people and historical facts. The story opens in pre-WWII Manila in what seems like an idyllic paradise. Gina Thorpe and her husband Ray have a comfortable life. Ray is a civil engineer who is an executive in his father’s company and Gina has all the necessary social connections. They are raising a beautiful daughter and life is perfect right up until the Japanese invade in December 1941. Then the world turns upside down and paradise becomes a living nightmare.  When Ray becomes a prisoner of war Gina and her daughter flee to the mountains in order to escape the Japanese occupation. She finds herself involved with resistance fighters and risks everything to save her daughter by joining a network of spies. Gina’s story is spellbinding. I became a fan of the author after reading “A Pledge of Silence” several years ago and didn’t think Solomon could follow up with an equally good second effort. I was wrong; “Along the Broken Bay” is even better. If you enjoy historical fiction you will love this book. It gets my strongest recommendation
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Flora Solomon captures the waning days of colonial Manilla with the broad strokes and intense passion of a Claude Monet painting. She transports us onto a faltering journey of denial into the mountains. One by one the trappings of privilege and an easy life fall to the wayside. The realities of an inevitable occupation by a brutal invader amidst the crumbling prognostication of victory by General MacArthur drive Gina, her daughter Cheryl, from coping to survival. Tormented by the thought of her husband's almost certain capture, Gina experiences the savagery of the Japanese when she encounters the death march of US and Philippine prisoners of war. This realization drives her to take life-threatening risks to raise money for the resistance fighters by opening a nightclub fleecing the Japanese clientele of money and information. Along this journey, Flora has us smelling the fragrances of the Orient, the sights, and sounds of the forest and tasting the bile of suffering and brutality. A story of love, loss, and grit during an epoch time in U. S. history, not to be missed.
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