3 out of 4 stars
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Rebecca Rosen’s mother, Bernice, was dying. Rebecca took time off from her teaching job to help her mother during her last days. Between overwhelming pain and frequent morphine doses, her mother spoke about her family’s connection with Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. This couple was found guilty of spying for the Soviet Union and executed at Sing Sing prison in New York. Rebecca learned of her mother’s friendship with Ethel. How deep was her mother’s participation in Ethel’s plans? Did Ethel convince Bernice to use her position as a secretary to a Navy captain to participate in illegal activities that helped the Japanese? Rebecca learned secrets about her mother’s past that deeply perturbed her. How far would she be willing to go to keep those secrets buried in the past?
The Pearl Harbor Conspiracy by J. G. Schwartz is a historical fiction novel. The author masterfully blended historical facts about the Pearl Harbor attack with a compelling conspiracy theory. Could more lives have been saved if President Roosevelt had sent troops to Europe sooner? Why was there such apathy about the extermination of the Jews? The author imagined an intriguing conspiracy theory that added an exciting twist to the historical events.
The character development of the main characters was methodical and superb. Rebecca was the stereotypical daughter who dropped everything to attend to her ailing mother. The author slowly developed her patient and devoted personality. She was the loving daughter every mother wanted at their dying bed. This made some of her later actions surprising and totally unexpected. The author truly amazed me with the creative turns the story took. I appreciated the list of characters at the beginning of the book. The author also included an extensive list of references at the end of the book. Readers will be able to read and investigate any of the historical topics referenced in the narrative.
The author chose to write the story in the present tense. This is what I least liked about the story. I would have preferred the use of the past tense for the flashbacks to contrast with the current events of Rebecca’s time with her mother. I did find a few misspelled words and several comma errors in the narrative. Readers can enjoy this clean read that had only a few occurrences of profanity and no sexual scenes.
I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. The intriguing story line, the well-developed characters, and the conspiracy theory’s suspenseful unfolding made this a stunning and entertaining read. The grammar errors and the use of the present tense in the flashbacks made me lower the score by one point. This remarkable story would appeal to all readers who enjoy thrillers, spy stories, and historical novels. This book will stimulate your thinking and leave you questioning the facts you learned in history class.
The Pearl Harbor Conspiracy
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