Saturday, 12 April 2008
As Always, Jack: A Wartime Love Story by Emma Sweeney
Emma following the death of her mother stumbles across a series of letters which were sent from her father to her mother in their courting days, at the backend of World War Two. After 6 months of corresponding, they had in reality only spent two weeks together. Upon being decommissioned and returning to the States Jack immediately visits the father of his sweetheart to ask for consent to marry. They did marry and had a family together, the author Emma was still being carried by her mother when her father died. To all intents and purposes, Emma did not know her father, but as she grew up developed a picture in her mind of the type of person he was. The letters that she found enabled Emma to flesh out the character he had. Emma does in order to find more answers about her father's life visit his family home, and meets several Aunts and the area where they grew up. I would have liked to have explored that a bit further, and perhaps there is scope for another book....The book overall was an enjoyable one, this edition had some lovely illustrations and background paper reinforcing that this book was essentially a series of letters, from an era when communication was about writing letters, involving pen, ink, paper & stamps and not our modern methods.
This book also made me think of my grandparents. They married in September 1939 and by November of the same year my Grandfather was in the Army stationed in Africa. There is very sadly, no letters from this time of separation, in fact there was very few photos, not even of their wedding. There is one though which I have inherited of my Grandfather in a relaxed portrait with written, on the back "Your love one, George X"