a Wartime Love Story
by Emma Sweeney
Little, Brown & Company
Funny how this book just jumped off the shelf at me. I was walking out of the library, and there it was on the ‘staff picks’ shelf. The name “Jack” caught me because he was a lost love from long ago.
And after I’d just finished reading The Shoebox Bible. Here comes another story of remembrance found on pieces of paper.
This is a beautiful and sweet biography about the author's father whom she never got to meet. Her mother and father met at the end of World War II and got married when he returned home. Over the next ten years, they had four sons, and the author's mother was pregnant with a daughter when his plane was lost at sea. After her mother died, she found a bunch of love letters written to her from her father and this is how she finally got to know him.
Emma Sweeney, the author, was that daughter. She is now a New York literary agent and gardening book author. In the last chapter, she writes:
My father met my mother at the tail end of a year and a half spent in navy flight training at the base near Coronado, California, where she lived. The year was 1945. They had known each other for only eleven days when he left with his flight squadron to report to Hawaii as part of the military's effort to stabilize the Pacific after World War II. Over a period of seven months, he wrote the forty-five letters I found in her drawer.
Pat Conroy, author of Beach Music and Prince of Tides, said, "As Always, Jack is one of the great loves stories of our time. By the time I finished reading these letters, Jack Sweeney had taught me much about humor and longing and almost everything about love."