War Ready: In My Father’s Shadow

Revisit the years after the war through the eyes of an innocent girl. Travel back in time when the world was still mending from the trauma                   of the recent devastation. Mary Lou Darst’s War Ready: In My Father’s Shadow gives us a fascinating account of how she experienced these nations’ rich history and unique culture.

It was never easy growing up in a military family. They move around a lot and don’t stay in one spot for a very long time. It’s the same with the relationships they form while staying in specific locations; it’s only fun while it lasts. Apart from the modifications, they were also left clueless about what may happen next. The story starts in Alaska, then moves to Virginia, Japan, Texas, and finally Germany, where they stayed longer than the other places.

Leaving places entails saying goodbye to people, and Mary Lou had her fair share of farewells. There is grief in the uncertainty of whether you will see a loved one again or whether this will be the last time you see them. But she has something consistent in her life: her family. Even if things become a bit difficult at times, since her father acts more like a soldier to her than a parent, she treasures them greatly.

This is a pleasant, heartfelt, and at times amusing account of their family’s adventures. It’s as though you’re accompanying them on their adventure. How his father was changed by the war and how her mother stands still to be their anchor is truly heartfelt. Her life’s journey from childhood to early adolescence was also discussed. There is a lot to learn about her values as a child. You’ll be amazed when they learn about the cultures of the areas they visited. Empathy for those she met who had been war victims. You will eventually understand that camaraderie between inhabitants of feuding countries is still possible after the conflict. Even with the language and culture differences, you could always relay your warmth with smiles. There are a lot of mentioned cultures and practices of the places they had been through during the time they stayed there.

Although they are not in the same position, this memoir gave me the same emotions as reading Anne Frank’s “Diary of a Young Girl”. Her voyage will help you understand humanity’s evolution throughout history. Even though these encounters will broaden perspectives, the war’s lengthy thread will extend far and wide throughout your life. 

This is absolutely a worthwhile read.

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Pub Date: September 15, 2011
ASIN: B07957N1ZQ
Page Count: 223
Publisher: iUniverse
Review Posted Online: September 15, 2011
Writera Magazine Reviews Issue: February 02, 2022
Category: Memoir, War Biography

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