This book contains several concurrent stories. The setting is the early days of the WW II advance of Imperial Japanese Forces towards Australia. At New Guinea the Aussies, before eventually receiving US support, desperately tried to keep a foothold. The only plane which had the range and bombing capacity to fly from Australia to New Guinea and back at that time was the Catalina flying boat. Since this plane was no match for Japanese fighters they had to operate during the dark.
This is where this book unfolds in several stories : the actual flying operations, the story of the sole survivor of a Catalina crash at a remote pacific island, the local inhabitants of that island, the Japanese occupants and the US counter attack at Guadalcanal. Each of these tales is worked out along it’s own storyline. However, the story of the crashed Aussie Catalina pilot forms the backbone of these interwoven storylines. In a nutshell : he loses his memory and step by step he regains it in the loving hands of several caring ladies (!). The description of flying operations with the Catalina are most accurate and a treat for aviation lovers. For Japanese readers this book must be rather shocking in the description of the behavior of their armed forces towards the native people, which included the enslavement of ‘comfort women’.
The “multilayer story”- structure of this book gives an enthralling insight in the perception of people from very different cultures towards the dramatic events of WW II in this remote part of the Pacific Ocean and the initial serious threat of a Japanese invasion of Australia. All in all an entertaining collection of stories for readers with an interest in this episode of WW II history