Sunset on Ramree by Robert Appleton
Historical/War, 14,939 Words
Heat Rating: Not Applicable
Cover Art © 2009 by Dawné Dominique
Edited by Lauren Gilbert
Copyedited by Heather Williams
Layout and Book Production by Ally Robertson
On February 19th, 1945, one thousand Japanese soldiers retreat into the fetid mangrove swamps of Ramree Island hoping to escape their British enemy. However it is soon apparent that the twelve kilometre stretch of marshland that promised to offer safe cover, has delivered them straight into the jaws of hell.
Inspired by true events during WWII, Sunset on Ramree follows young musician-turned-soldier Shigeatsu Nakadai and his best friend, Kodi, as they head ever deeper into danger.
I try to conjure a memory of before the war—something, anything to distract me—but draw a blank every time. I purse my lips to whistle a familiar tune, but nothing comes out. I shut my eyes tight and roll them inward until they ache and release a heavy pulse. The screams and shots and calls for surrender are still there. Kodi and Sobiku are still there. I imagine the reed of a clarinet between my lips and the long, sustained breath given to making sweetly aching music. But nothing comes out. No tune, no melody, no woodwind to soothe the mangroves. Just the damp, cold harmonics of the night. I’m lost without music, and there is no music on Ramree.