A lover’s final words
The black angel

On the trail of a man known as The Coastwatcher

Johnston - Rich girl, poor girl....RAY JOHNSTON

The Rich Girl, The Poor Girl, The Coastwatcher And Me: Anecdotes And Reminiscences From The Collected Papers Of Justin Bornmann by Ray Johnston, Available from Smashwords, $US4.99, Published April 2015. ISBN: 9781310434945

MY new book has just been released. It’s about the Coastwatchers of World War II PNG and the tribesmen who fought beside them armed with nothing more than shotguns and spears.

The story of secret operations behind the lines in Japanese-occupied New Britain will resonate with people connected with Papua New Guinea.

Some of you may recall my earlier book about the fall of Rabaul in 1942 which was, as with this new book, drawn from the experiences of real people and based on history.

But be prepared for more than a rollicking ride down memory lane, because here contemporary stories about the international black market in timber and children orphaned by war and disease are interwoven with events inspired by true stories from the war.

The book features fast-moving sequences, moral confrontations and personal dilemmas. Each of the themes is a barbecue-stopper.

On a tropical island, the truth about a shadowy war hero called The Coastwatcher connects Ruth Feingold, a career girl on vacation, and Miriam Lazar, a poor girl on the run, with jaded historian Justin Bornmann in a love triangle like no other.

The women set the disillusioned man on the path to redemption and prove that, although love is a battle zone, it need not be a war.

There’s also an assortment of unique characters, each with the fortunate knack of turning up just at the right time.

Royalties from the purchase price go to supporting my voluntary work in New Britain to acknowledge the courage of the tribesmen who took on the might of the Japanese South Seas Force, and make a small practical step towards thanking their descendants.


About Ray Johnston

These days Ray lives with his family in Canberra. His first novel, White Ghosts Black Shadows (reviewed here by Donald Hook) was published in 2010. Before that Ray cut his teeth as an author and publisher producing books in indigenous languages in Papua New Guinea.

Ray holds master's degrees in educational psychology and organisational psychology and a PhD in linguistics. He is a research associate at the Australian National University and also works with Wycliffe Bible Translators and the Summer Institute of Linguistics in PNG.


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