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World War II brings many extraordinary changes to San Bruno, a small town thirteen miles south of San Francisco. Nearby Tanforan Race Track becomes an assembly camp for Japanese Americans awaiting forced relocation and then a naval training base for Pacific-bound recruits. The elementary school auditorium turns overnight into a USO, and the city itself is suddenly a liberty town for 16,000 sailors. Meanwhile, California prepares for a Japanese invasion: barrage balloons float over San Francisco, a submarine net stretches across the entrance to the bay, and air-raid drills and blackouts become daily routines as everyone waits nervously for the first attack. We see these changes and their consequences through the eyes of Elaine Walker, the new fifth grade teacher at Edgemont Elementary; her students Mary Maureen and Ruthie Mitchum, whose parents have come from Tennessee to work in the shipyards, and Avery Fontana; and USN first-class petty officer Chuck Sweet, stationed at Tanforan, heart-scarred by his months in the war zone. Driven by despair, by sheer passion, or by love, they are called upon to respond to their accidental claims on one another with courage, honor, and grace. Words of My Roaring is an emotionally charged, beautifully written novel about the unlikely sources of human redemption.