Tag Archives: World War II

Tom Lewis. Sons of Their Fathers. Swansboro, NC: Tease Publishing, 2008.

In this the final volume in the Pea Island Trilogy, it is the late 1970s. Dieter Bach, a concert violinist, has been shot during a mugging.  Dieter’s hands have been so injured that he will not be able to resume his career. His manager, Sy, directs Dieter down a new path–that of conductor.  To prepare for that, Sy sends Dieter to his summer house on Roanoke Island where Dieter can study and practice.  Dieter soon meets the beautiful Susan Everette who is working as a waitress at a restaurant that Dieter frequents.  His attraction to her is instantaneous.

This is is story of Suzi and Dieter’s love. The couple move from the Outer Banks to Virginia as Dieter learns his new craft.  Dieter is undeterred by Suzi’s mixed race heritage, but when he meets Suzi’s parents he discovers an obstacle to their happiness that forces him to return to Germany, the land of his birth.  Characters from earlier novels in the trilogy–especially Horst von Hellenbach–figure in the plot, and remind the reader that the past is not really so far behind us.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Coast, Dare, Lewis, Tom, Novels in Series

Tom Lewis. Sunday’s Child. Rocky Mount, NC: VP Publishing, 2006.

When Sunday’s mother dies in childbirth, she is handed over to a father who was unaware of her existence. Slick Everette is a gambling man, but a good cook, and he has been the cook for the surf men on Pea Island.  Sunday grows up among these men, nurtured by them, and learning to fish, hunt, swim, sail, cook, heal with herbs and roots, and see the beauty and dangers of the natural world.

The man-made world is something else.  In her teen years, as Sunday interacts with the white community on Roanoke Island and the mixed lot of men who do conservation work on Hatteras Island as part of the New Deal public works programs.  Sunday’s strength of character impresses everyone, but she is nonetheless victimized.  Her life takes an unexpected turn when German sailors on a special mission come ashore.

This is the first book in the Pea Island Trilogy.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2006, Coast, Dare, Lewis, Tom, Novels in Series

John H. Hyman. The Relationship. Manassas, VA: E.M. Press, 1995.

Scotland Neck, North Carolina, in 1944 is a typically charming Southern town. Everyone knows everyone, and people generally look out for one another. Johnnie, the nine year-old narrator, describes the many adventures he and his best friend Wormy encounter that summer. Although Johnnie is white and Wormy is black, the two boys do not allow the racial tensions of the segregated South to disturb their relationship. They daydream about concocting solutions that will make them invisible so that they can both take part in activities such as buying a Coke and a moon pie at the local grocery.

The two boys seem to have a penchant for mischief; examples include the time Johnnie’s father’s taxicab ended up at the bottom of Scout Pond and the day the boys hopped a train thinking it would take them to the next town but ended up in Norfolk, Virginia. As Johnnie grows up, he recognizes more often the discrimination Wormy endures, especially after Wormy is attacked for taking part in a whites-only activity. Although Johnnie acknowledges that Scotland Neck is not perfect, he appreciates the lessons he learns over the summer of 1944 before he and his newly-widowed mother move to northern Virginia. Most of all, he is grateful for his time there with Wormy.

Check out this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1990-1999, 1995, Coastal Plain, Halifax, Historical, Hyman, John H.

Joyce Moyer Hostetter. Comfort. Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek, 2009.

The year is 1945 in this sequel to Hostetter’s earlier novel, Blue.  Ann Fay has returned from treatment in a polio hospital and her beloved father is back from the war.  Ann Fay thinks that she understands the changes that occurred at home during the war–the deprivation, the polio epidemic that killed her younger brother and disabled her–but she has no understanding of what her father went through.  Her father suffers from what we now call post-traumatic stress disorder.  Ann Fay and her father are both in search of healing and peace of mind–“comfort”.   Ann Fay is helped on her path by caring neighbors and treatment at the Warm Springs, Georgia polio treatment center.  Her father’s healing path is lonelier and the outcome uncertain.

Comfort touches on themes of family, community, racial prejudice, and social class, but the novel never bogs down in any way.  Ann Fay’s voice rings true in this beautiful coming-of-age story.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2009, Catawba, Children & Young Adults, Hostetter, Joyce Moyer, Piedmont

H. F. S. Moore. Murder Goes Rolling Along. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran, and Co., 1942.

Murders involving the medical personnel at Fort Bragg.  No, it’s not the Jeffery MacDonald case.  This is a much more straightforward who-done-it set during World War II.  The plot is standard Crime Club fare, but the atmosphere of the base and the surrounding area are authentically portrayed.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 1940-1949, 1942, Coastal Plain, Cumberland, Hoke, Moore, H. F. S., Mystery

Joyce and Jim Lavene. One Last Goodbye. New York: Avalon Books, 2000.

According to local legend, Navy Captain Billy Bost crashed his plane into Diamond Mountain Lake in 1944. More than 50 years later a Pulitzer Prize winning author comes to the mountain town of Diamond Mountain determined to find the plane, but he disappears and is found dead a few days later. Once the plane is raised, the police discover that the World War II pilot died of a gunshot wound, not the crash. Now Sheriff Sharyn Howard has to discover who killed the pilot and who killed the author writing about him. This is the second book in the Sharyn Howard series of mysteries.

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Filed under 2000, 2000-2009, Lavene, Jim and Joyce, Montgomery, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Piedmont

Sarah Shaber. Snipe Hunt. New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2000.

Raleigh professor and “forensic historian” Simon Shaw was supposed to be spending his Thanksgiving week relaxing at Pearlie Beach, but he agreed to help his friend look for archaeological evidence of a Tuscarora village while he was there. What he did not agree to was investigating the corpse of a World War II diver dredged up off the coast. Confederate gold coins found with the body deepen the mystery and soon Simon is trying to determine if the Navy frogman drowned accidentally or was murdered. This novel is full of information and speculation about ships and shipwrecks, from Confederate blockade runners to German U-boats.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library Catalog.

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Filed under 2000, 2000-2009, Coast, Mystery, Novels in Series, Novels Set in Fictional Places, Shaber, Sarah

Tom Lewis. Hitler’s Judas. Rocky Mount, NC: VP Publishing, 2007.

The second novel in the Pea Island Gold trilogy, Hitler’s Judas takes place during the same time period as series’ first novel, Sunday’s Child. However, this story is told from the perspective of two Nazis. One, Horst Van Hellenbach, is a celebrated U-boat captain, while the other is one of Hitler’s closest confidants. The other is Hitler’s right-hand man, Martin Bormann, who sees the end of the Third Reich coming and plans to escape to Pea Island, NC with a fortune in Nazi gold. After the Germans arrive on the North Carolina coast, Von Hellenbach’s story becomes entwined with that of Pea Island resident Sunday Everette.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2007, Coast, Dare, Historical, Lewis, Tom, Novels in Series, Suspense/Thriller

Edward P. Norvell. Portsmouth: Spies, U-boats, and Romance on the Outer Banks. Winston-Salem: Distributed by John F. Blair, 2008.

The waters off the Outer Banks were crowded during World War II, with American and British submarines trying to keep German U-boats from getting close to American shores. In 1942 two U-boats and one British submarine were sunk. One U-boat contained a Enigma code machine that the Germans wanted to recover. A German officer was sent ashore, in disguise, to Portsmouth Island. A widow there believed him to be the British officer he claimed to be, and they fell in love. This novel nicely weaves together her story and his, following them through the war years and beyond. The novel also gives a good sense of life on the Outer Banks during the 1940s.

Check this title’s availability in the UNC-Chapel Hill Library catalog.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Coast, Dare, Norvell, Edward P., Romance/Relationship

Clyde Edgerton. The Bible Salesman. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2008.

Innocent Henry Dampier seems no match for career criminal Preston Clearwater. Henry is a young door-to-door Bible salesman. Clearwater convinces Henry that he is an undercover FBI agent and that he needs Henry’s help. Soon Henry is driving the cars that Clearwater steals. It’s along and winding road, with many detours into Henry’s past, but Henry wises up–to his upbringing, to women, to Clearwater, to life. Edgerton’s warm humor is again on display in this tale about the people and mores of North Carolina in the years immediately before and after World War II.

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Filed under 2000-2009, 2008, Coast, Edgerton, Clyde, Piedmont