Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Miner, Jane Claypool. 1986. Veronica. Sunfire Romance.

This particular Sunfire Romance novel is set during World War II. In Hawaii. Our heroine, Veronica, is sixteen. Her father is in the U.S. Navy. He's been stationed there all of her life, she was born and raised there. Veronica portrays the subtle-and-not-so-subtle prejudices of the day. Prejudices against those native Hawaiians; prejudices against the Japanese. Veronica Bennett, unlike her parents, has an open mind. Her best friend, Toshi Nakamura, is of Japanese descent. Her boyfriend, Mike Kokohuilano, is Hawaiian.

When the book opens, she is at a party. A party mostly consisting of those her parents' age. However, there just happens to be one boy there--a very cute boy at that--who is around her age. Two years older, in fact, a Navy man, Phillip Easterwood who's stationed on the U.S.S. Arizona. They meet in the late autumn of 1941.

Before Veronica knows it, she's being wooed by two men: Phillip, a so-called "romantic" man who likes to hear himself talk; and Mike, a guy who's more down-to-earth and all-around-nice-guy. Who will Veronica choose? Or will the Japanese bombers choose for her? Will Phillip survive to the end of the book?

This is from one of Phillip's speeches on their first date:

"The minute I saw you standing in the garden with all these flowers around you, I knew you were right for me. Your hair looked like gold against the blue sky, and then you smiled at me. Do you know how long it's been since someone really smiled at me? Sunny, will you be my girl?"

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Douglas Florian 7:12 PM  

I haven't read the book, but the jacket strikes me as surreal, as if two puppets were standing in front of the figure.

Anonymous,  8:59 PM  

Oh my goodness, I remember these books! I think I read every one my library had.

Anonymous,  3:21 PM  

I had to go and dig out my own copy of this book this morning. What a trip down memory lane! It makes me want to read them all again.
Did you ever read The Girls of Canby Hall series by Emily Chase that Scholastic published? They rank right up there with Sunfire romances.

Becky 3:51 PM  

I'm glad to be bringing back memories. I am planning on reading several of these (at least) in the upcoming year.

I hadn't read the Girls of Canby Hall.

Jena 5:44 PM  

My reaction is like Jaime's: I remember these! I think I read every one my library had!

my fellow bookworm classmate (I was 12 or 13) had a collection of her own, too, and I borrowed those, too. (till her grandmother, convinced they were smut--they're not--took them away.) I credit these books with spawning my interest in historical fiction.

My favorite was probably Kathleen, by the way, though I learned a lot about old Hollywood from Roxanne.

Becky 5:55 PM  

I remember both Kathleen and Roxanne.

I too think these helped me love history/historical fiction.

And I loved that they weren't smut. :)

I had almost all of them--I think I'm missing (never read) two or three of them.

I could never bring myself to part with them (the Sunfire) though Babysitters got given away, and now I'm glad of that!

Melanie 4:28 PM  

Oh my goodness, I LOVED these books growing up! In fact, last year my boyfriend tracked down the only one I'd never read. And like everyone else has said, these books inspired my love for historical fiction and are some of the reason I majored in history in college.

Anna 9:20 PM  

Oops! Here's the link to your review on the war blog:


Diary of an Eccentric

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