By the time Loretto discovered the cache of WWII letters, her father had been dead almost 50 years. She’d accepted she would never know him. That changed when she decided to type his 500+ letters for her siblings. With each letter she heard her father’s voice. With each place she visited, each person she met, the 50 years without him melted away and the enduring gap that had opened between them when she was 4-years-old gradually began to close.
The BookViral Review: Genre – Military & War Biographies
A vivid and meticulously presented work of poignancy, loss and discovery Frank Thompson’s letters prove a powerful narrative that will resonate with readers of all ages. A revelatory journey that led to a profound transformation in Loretto’s life they also prove an authoritative reminder that the influence of the written word should never be underestimated.
Chronologically presented and interceded with Loretto’s own reflections which are written with a refreshing degree of candour she not only captures Frank’s personality, energy and intellect but an exquisitely articulated and nuanced view of the world as it was during WWII
Frank Thompson was a prolific letter writer during his first year of service, writing an average of 26 letters a month and through his words, Lorreto was able to build a picture of his life that not only raised questions but provided insights that would otherwise have eluded her. We follow along as Loretto uncovers the mystery surrounding the ditching of Frank’s B-17 Bomber ‘Heavy Duty’ in the North Sea and his inauguration into the Goldfish Club. And we come to know the fellow airmen with which he shared so much.
For the first time in her life, Loretto felt she really knew her father. A man who lived a tragically short life and yet left a lasting legacy which touched so many people whilst a wider subtext leads us to reflect on the nature of life, the relationships we forge, the choices we make and where they might ultimately lead us.
Joining the ranks of Edith Velmans-Van Hessen, Livia Bitton Jackson and Anne Franks An Unexpected Coddiwomple makes a significant historical contribution and is recommended without reservation.