My Father’s Secret War: A Memoir is the best book I’ve read in a long time. It is written by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Lucinda Franks. It reads more like a novel than a memoir.The book is both an intellectual search for an understanding of her father’s secret past as a spy in World War II as well as a heart-wrenching story of the complexities of the author’s relationship with him. What makes this book so very compelling is the honesty and poetic telling of naked truths in a real family drama. Everything is here: burning hatred and welcome forgiveness, love’s disappointments, parent’s failings, alcoholism, psychological torture, adultery, rebellion, revelation and resolution.
We care deeply as the author so desperately searches to understand why her relationship with her father had changed from childhood adoration to hatred, because of his alcoholic withdrawal. This is a universal story of every daughter’s struggle to know and forgive her father as he ages and declines. This author’s telling is unbelievably poignant. A must read!