Author(s): Bill Lascher
A captivating true-life romance between two young American reporters who fell in love and embarked on a harrowing journey after the fall of Manila, traveling from island to island with the Japanese in close pursuit. New Year's Eve, 1941. Inside Manila's Bay View Hotel, journalists Mel and Annalee Jacoby heard the bombs and wondered if this would be their final night alive. Pearl Harbor had been attacked a few short weeks before, and the U.S. had decided not to defend the Philippine capital, leaving Mel and Annalee trapped in the city where they'd been married just a month earlier. The couple had worked closely with the Chinese government; if captured by Japanese troops, they were certain to be executed. Racing down to the docks just before midnight, they barely escaped onto a freighter as the city behind them burned. But this was only the beginning of their tumultuous journey, which would take them from one island outpost to another as they kept a step ahead of the Japanese, all the while serving as two of the only journalists reporting from the region. In Eve of a Hundred Midnights, Bill Lascher brings to life the Jacobys' story. Beginning with Mel and Annalee's early life, Lascher charts the pair's love affair with the Far East - and with one another - and their early reporting in China and the Philippines as World War II began. Supported by deep historical research and the many letters they exchanged with friends and loved ones, Lascher captures their personal stories - including Annalee's time as a Hollywood screenwriter - as well as the broader geopolitical struggle that surrounded them. In the vein of recent blockbuster World War II hits, Eve of a Hundred Midnights is a tale of a thirst for adventure that could not be quenched, of daring reportage at great personal risk, and of a romance that blossomed in the shadow of war.