Paulden woman, deceased brothers pen memoir of time as POWs in Philippines

A Paulden woman has published a memoir of her and her brothers’ time as POWs in the Philippines.

“Only by the Grace of God,” by Pamela J. Brink is subtitled “One Family’s Story of Survival during World War II as Prisoners of War in the Philippines.” It’s available on Amazon as a paperback for $16.99, and she plans to donate copies to local libraries. It should also be available as an e-book for $3.99.

Brink, who moved to Paulden as a snowbird in 2006, is the author of several traditionally published nursing textbooks. She got serious about publishing the memoir in 2016.

“Both my brothers died within three months of each other,” she wrote in an email. “It was only after they had died that I discovered they had each written a memoir. I had written one too, so I wondered if they could be put together in one volume.”

Her desire to publish was stoked when she learned a recent terrorist – she can’t remember which one – had published several books before going on a shooting rampage.

“I asked myself, ‘If he can publish three books, why can’t I publish too?’” she said.

She contacted several traditional publishers who showed no interest in the project, and then discovered independent publishing companies. Because the book includes old photos, scans of old documents and their transcriptions, she chose Archway Publishing, a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster and Author Solutions, to help her produce it.

The memoir’s blurb reads, in part:

“Three siblings from the Philippines wrote down what they remembered about being imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II. Pamela J. Brink, Robert A. Brink, and John W. Brink all survived the ordeal, but only one of them – Pamela – is still alive today. She shares their experiences in this memoir that recounts the horrors of war as seen through the eyes of children. …

“When they were freed, everyone wanted to hear about atrocities, but their slow starvation could not compete with the horrors that Jews suffered in Nazi Germany. Most ignored their tales, and over time, they stopped telling them.

“Three adults look back at their childhood experiences as prisoners of war, how they survived, and how they continued on in Only by the Grace of God.”

Brother John W. “Bill” Brink, now deceased, moved to Prescott in the early 1990s. He was a docent at Sharlot Hall Museum and the Smoki Museum, and was a member of the Soaring Club and Knights of Columbus, Brink said.

She moved to the area after Bill had an operation.

“I realized we didn’t see much of each other and were getting older,” she said.