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Monday, July 27, 2020

LSBBT BOOK REVIEW + GIVEAWAY: Landing in My Present by Mary Clark (Biography)


LANDING IN MY PRESENT
by
Mary Clark

Genre:  Biography / Aviation / Historical / WWII
Publisher: Hellgate Press
Date of Publication: June 15, 2020
Number of Pages: 218


SCROLL DOWN FOR THE GIVEAWAY!






Mary Walker Clark barely knew her father. When he died, he left not only the obvious void every teen would experience, but took with him scores of Indiana Jones-style tales about flying the Hump, a treacherous series of US missions that transported supplies over the Himalayas to China during World War II.

It would take a chance interview with a pilot who had flown with her father in the war to launch a series of extraordinary journeys—into a shrouded past and halfway around the globe to India and China—for Clark to finally come to know the father whose absence had haunted her for decades.

Landing in My Present chronicles the adventures of a daughter who chose to pry open a painful past while enlarging her view of an adventurous father long thought lost.

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I always find it fascinating when stories enter our lives at the perfect time almost as though they know that we need them. I've been looking into my own family's genealogy and history, and while my mom and my husband's parents are still here to provide background on the information they know, there is still so much more to learn! During a recent visit with my mother-in-law, she showed me the actual handwritten letters from a great uncle of hers that he had written while in the trenches during World War I. As a veteran myself, it's incredibly awe-inspiring to see a firsthand account of someone's thoughts while in the moment. Given that this book details the author's own discoveries of her father's past, those feelings are obviously much more heightened. However, she captures such an astounding experience that is so relatable and will connect with many different readers on many levels.

Her father's mission of "Flying the Hump" was an airlift operation during World War II that brought supplies, primarily gasoline from India into western China. Not only was it dangerous due to simply having to potentially confront enemy forces, but the terrain and weather played also played prominent roles in making this a dangerous action that truly tested the training every skilled pilot received. This book provides a fascinating glimpse into a period of history that we can all still learn so much about. Alternating between historical references and personal anecdotes, this is a fast-paced read that will have readers feeling like they are coming home to a family that is quite possibly very much like their own. A colloquial tone emphasizes this feeling of being in the presence of family and sharing with each other conversations about the past. As a surrogate, the author tells the stories her father was unfortunately never able to, crafting a homage to his memory and a life that was tragically cut too short.

Because her father never told stories from his time in the war, there was so much that no one could possibly know about his life, and honestly, there are just some things that veterans will never talk about. My husband has served four combat tours in the Middle East, and there are still things he refuses to talk about even with me, who also served in combat. The author gracefully details the dilemma of learning about her father's missions in connection with the history of the Hump and feeling bad for how little they knew before and how proud they could of been of him had they known more. Ultimately, it's a precarious position - wanting to shield your loved ones from the dangers you knew, while also knowing how important those moments are within the story of a family's legacy. 

While it is certainly one thing to read about history, it is definitely a completely different experience to walk in the shoes of living history. Descriptions and photographs enhance the author's ability to convey her adventure towards connecting with her father in such an extraordinary way, and their story truly comes alive off the page! It won't be hard for readers to be just as overwhelmed with the realization of what a moment like this means.

This is a very compelling read full of human interest that will keep you riveted until the very end whether you're a history buff or not. And if you haven't already looked into your own family's history, it might be exactly what you need to spark an interest to do for yourself.








Mary Walker Clark is a retired attorney turned travel writer who loves taking readers with her to worldwide destinations. She has been traveling independently and internationally for over fifty years. Her essays may be found in the Paris News, at her blog, "Mary Clark, Traveler," and her podcasts at KETR 88.9, an NPR affiliate. Clark is an award-winning member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and a contributor to Still Me, … After All These Years, 24 Writers Reflect on Aging.

In 2016, Clark traveled to India and China to follow her father's WWII footsteps when he was a Hump pilot flying over the Himalayas. Her journey to connect with him fifty years after his death is told in her book, Landing in My Present. Clark is a fifth generation Texan living in Paris, Texas.

Website ║ Facebook  ║ Blog ║ Instagram ║ Amazon Author Page 



THREE WINNERS!
FIRST WINNER: $25 Amazon card
SECOND WINNER: Signed copy of Landing in My Present
THIRD WINNER: $15 Amazon card.
 July 21-July 31, 2020
(US only)


a Rafflecopter giveaway  BEST OF LUCK!

Many thanks again to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author! It was a pleasure reading, reviewing, and hosting! And be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more opinions and extras!

CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY.  Or, visit the blogs directly:

7/21/20
BONUS Post
7/21/20
Review
7/22/20
Review
7/22/20
Review
7/23/20
Review
7/24/20
Review
7/24/20
Review
7/25/20
Review
7/26/20
Review
7/27/20
Review
7/27/20
Review
7/28/20
BONUS Post
7/28/20
Review
7/29/20
Review
7/29/20
Review
7/30/20
Review
7/30/20
Review

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2 comments:

  1. LOVE this review-- it's so important for readers to know that they don't have to be history buffs to enjoy a layered story like this one. Thanks for sharing! And thanks for your (and your spouse's) service.

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  2. Thank you for such a thoughtful and encouraging review. I am touched that one of your generation would be moved by my journey but then, as a veteran yourself, you would appreciate the different world that my father inhabited. The past does just keep giving if you choose to explore it and I also hope others will be encouraged to do so from my book. Thank you again and as Kristine wrote for your and your husband"s service.

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