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This book contains five miracles and a sixth would be that they are all true. The author, a Catholic priest from Brooklyn, is the Prince Charming to the incredible Cinderella role of Chinese Patsy Li, who was twice rescued from death at the hands of the Japanese in the early years of World War II, then survived the worst period on Guadalcanal, and finally was reunited with her obsessively searching mother. Then Patsy came to America and lived happily ever after. It is also the story of the author's personal stake in the Catholic faith and his early missionary experience in China in the 1930's, both of which stood him in good stead during the war. (""Isn't it a comfort to know those boys saw a priest just before they were killed?"" he can repeat, and take comfort therefrom.) Patsy's story is an outstanding example of how much violence and terror a human being can stand and still come out ""all right"", providing the memories can be disconnected. Perhaps the most gruelling section is Patsy's mother's account of how her children were lost in the horror of evacuation: even the rosy ending cannot erase that. And ""fact"" aside, one might wonder, when the ""right"" side is so entirely good and the other so entirely evil, as here, whether our conventional line of demarcation between fiction and non-fiction is completely adequate after all.

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 1962
Publisher: Funk & Wagnalls