My Father's Secret War: A Memoir

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9781400103812: My Father's Secret War: A Memoir
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In this moving and compelling memoir about parent and child, father and daughter, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Lucinda Franks discovers that the remote, nearly impassive man she grew up with had in fact been a daring spy behind enemy lines in World War II. Sworn to secrecy, he began revealing details of his wartime activities only in the last years of his life as he became afflicted with Alzheimer's. His exploits revealed a man of remarkable bravado-posing as a Nazi guard, slipping behind enemy lines to blow up ammunition dumps, and being flown to one of the first concentration camps liberated by the Allies to report on the atrocities found there. My Father's Secret War is an intimate account of Franks coming to know her own father after years of estrangement. Looking back at letters he had written her mother in the early days of WWII, Franks glimpses a loving man full of warmth. But after the grimmest assignments of the war his tone shifts, settling into an all-too-familiar distance. Franks learns about him-beyond the alcoholism and adultery-and comes to know the man he once was. Her story is haunting, and beautifully told, even as the tragedy becomes clear: Franks finally comes to know her father, but only as he is slipping further into his illness. Lucinda Franks understands her father as the disease claims him. My Father's Secret War is a triumph of love over secrets, and a tribute to the power of the connection of family.

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About the Author:

Journalist Lucinda Franks won a Pulitzer Prize in 1971 for her national reporting.

From AudioFile:

Using vulgar language and lacking a strong theme or direction, Franks recounts her childhood memories, which include her fathers revealing stories of his secret military service during WWII. As Franks learns more of his past, she gains an understanding of his present. Joyce Bean takes a risk by reading as if to small children, using overacted theatrical voices for friends and relatives. The comical character created for the authors father has a distorted and scratchy voice, making him difficult to understand. The light treatment seems incompatible with his somber recollections of the Nazi death camps he helped liberate. Readers looking for serious history will be disappointed, but they may be entertained in their effort to find it. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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