Monday, July 23, 2012

As Always, Jack by Emma Sweeney

As Always, Jack by Emma Sweeney

Completion Date: July 7, 2012
Reason for Reading: TLC Book Tour.
In the days just after the end of World War Two, a young Texas Navy pilot named Jack Sweeney falls crazy in love with a California girl just before he is shipped off to the Pacific with his squadron. He woos her with letters and makes away with her heart. He returns safely; he marries her.
Over thirty years later, a young woman returns to her childhood home in California for her mother’s funeral. Before leaving the house for the last time, without knowing what she’s looking for, she opens a dresser drawer in her mother’s room. Towards the very back of the drawer she discovers a packet of old letters tied up with a pink ribbon. In these letters she meets the man she has forever longed to know and love, the man her mother rarely spoke of during all the years of her childhood. In these letters she meets her father, Jack Sweeney, for the first time.
As Always, Jack is in part the bittersweet story of a daughter’s search for her father, an account of her struggle to unlock the mystery of his disappearance on the eve of her birth. Preserved in this story, however, is another, more universal one: the sweet and classic tale of true love in a time of war.
I am a bit of a sucker for books that say anything to do with WWI or WWII. The sub-title to this one is 'A World War Two Love Story'. And it is non-fiction. I thought it sounded right up my alley. And, it was. I enjoy first hand accounts of the World Wars and that was exactly what this book was. Following her mother's death Emma Sweeney finds letters that her father wrote to her mother during WWII in a drawer. It presents a chance for her to get to know a man she has never met before and always wondered about. Her mother hardly spoke of him after he died in the 50's and she always had unanswered questions.

I really enjoyed this correspondence. I do wish you could see both sides, but Sweeney says that her letters from her mother were not with the rest of her stuff. She assumes they may have been destroyed by her mother following her father's death. What we are left with are the letters he wrote while serving in WWII to a woman that he has only known for a short time to begin with. Romance worked like that back then. They have their letters in order to get to know each other and we see a entertaining presence especially the rough times they were living through. He really comes to life in his letters and I can imagine it was a wonderful experience for his daughter to experience. It was the next best thing to actually meeting him.

The book is nicely presented. I really like the cover image and the formatting inside. It was a short book, but it illustrates a time period I have always been fascinated with. You should take a chance and read this book.


  1. It would have been nice to have read her mother's letters, too, but I think the book worked without them. Glad you enjoyed it, too.

  2. This sounds really good! Thanks for the review.

  3. I might have to pick this one up at the library...loved your review!

  4. This sounds interesting. I'm not a huge WWII fan, but I've read some recently and loved them, and this being non-fiction makes it more appealing.

  5. My grandparents exchanged letters during WWII while they waited to be together to get married, so books like this really appeal to me!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  6. I read this book a couple years ago and enjoyed it very much. Glad you liked it, too!


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