Book Review: The Lonely War – Alan Chin

The Lonely WarDate of Publication: November 12, 2009
Genre and Themes: LGBTQ, War, POW, Racism, Xenophobia
Format: 328 pages, ebook
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781934841440
Cover Artist: Catt Ford
Characters: Andrew Waters

How far will a man go to survive?

Andrew Waters, son of an American diplomat and a Chinese mother, already has two strikes against him when he joins the crew of the USS Pilgrim not long after Pearl Harbor–his mixed heritage and his pacifism.

He never expects he will fall in love with his handsome commanding officer.

The crew of the Pilgrim is captured and sent to the notorious Changi POW camp. The man Andrew loves will die without proper medical treatment. To save his life, Andrew makes a choice that could destroy not just his future but his life.

This historical fiction set during the second world war is a story that will make you weep, laugh and weep again for its heartbreaking poignancy! Just how apt is the name of Andrew’s crew (Pilgrim) with the story’s “religious” undertone? Actually, to say that it’s religious is a bit of a stretch because it’s more of an exploration of Andrew about himself and the things that are happening around him. At first I thought I’d be bored with it but throughout the story, I was a mixed-bowl of emotions. I was giddy with the “blossoming?” romance between Andrew and Nathan and was appalled by what happened to him eventually when they were captured by the Japanese soldiers. There really are two faces of war and it’s sad when you know that there are necessary evils that must be done in order to get through it. That’s what Andrew did here and there are times in the story that I had to stop because I was bawling my eyes out! I also loved Commandant Totturi because of his ‘history.’ It was true love for him and I pretty much believe that Andrew reciprocated that feeling, only his heart is too big for a lot of people.

People who are expecting a traditional happy-every-after ending will be very disappointed with this one. It does not have one, that I could tell you. For me though, it’s actually more than that. The author’s style will make you contemplate on a lot of things in a un-preachy way. I loved that about Alan Chin. He’s unapologetically honest and weaves his story with stirring narratives.

The Lonely War simply exemplifies Chin’s superb writing! Match Maker is still my number one favorite from his stories but this one comes close into out-besting it.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About The Author
Alan Chin was born in Ogden, Utah, where he was christened, Alan Lewis Hurlburt. He was raised in San Jose, California where he enjoyed an undistinguished childhood. After graduating high school, Alan served four years in the U.S. Navy where he learned and practiced the trade of aircraft mechanic while stationed at the naval air station in Kingsville, Texas.
Alan attended four years of night school at San Francisco State University, studying the field of Data Processing. Afterwards he enjoyed a twenty year career working his way from computer programmer, to software engineer, to network designer, and finally to manager of several software engineer development groups.

In 1991, while still working full time, Alan went back to night school and years later graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BS in Economics and a Masters in Creative Writing.

In 1999, Alan retired from his career in Information Technology to devote more time to his three hobbies: writing, traveling, and tennis. During that same timeframe, Alan legally changed his name to Alan Chin, so that he could share the same family name as his life partner, Herman Chin.

Alan turned serious about his writing in 2003, and began working on his first novel, Island Song. He has now published two novel with Zumaya Publications – Island Song and The Lonely War. He is currently searching for a publisher fr his 3rd novel, while writing a 4th novel and two screenplays.

Alan currently lives and writes half of each year at his home in San Rafael, California, and he spends the other half of each year traveling the globe.

You can learn more about Alan Chin and his writing at: or about his travels at his travel blog:

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