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Liza Gino

Liza Gino

Imelda's Secret

Author Liza Gino details the horrors of the Pacific War from a woman’s perspective

Cousins Imelda and Gloria witness Japanese soldiers shoot a neighbour in cold blood and take captive a young woman during the Pacific War. Imelda’s father, Don Fulgencio, fears for the girl’s safety and hides them in the basement, cutting their hair short and dressing them like boys. But when Don tragically passes away, the girls are captured and subjected to horrific abuse by Japanese soldiers. Kenji, an old friend of Imelda’s, and now a Colonel in the Japanese Imperial Army, rescues the girls and takes them to a place of safety.

Forty years later, as Gloria lays in a hospital bed in San Francisco, the women reflect on their experiences during the war and the sexual violence they suffered at the hands of the Japanese. Gloria’s dying wish is to talk about their experience and expose the Japanese for their war crimes against women. But Imelda has never discussed the crimes with her family and is reluctant to share her experience. When Kenji suddenly reappears, Imelda finds the strength and courage to tell her story, and she can finally start to heal from her past trauma.

Set during the Japanese occupation of the Philippines during World War II, Imelda’s Secret is a heart-breaking novel, based on the real-life experiences of women who endured horrific abuse and sexual violence by the Japanese Imperial Army. This is a powerful and thought-provoking novel, which details the horrors of war and tells the story from a woman’s perspective.

The book is for all those women and girls who experienced sexual abuse and exploitation during war and conflict. Their story will not be forgotten.

Thank you, Liza Gino, for sharing this story and for all the work you do for women and girls by raising awareness of rape, sexual slavery, and crimes against humanity.

Star Rating: 5 Stars


‘A powerful and thought-provoking novel, detailing the horrific abuse and sexual violence experienced by women during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in World War II. A FINALIST and highly recommended.’

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