Monday, July 16, 2012

TLC Book Tour: As Always, Jack by Emma Sweeney


As Always, Jack
by Emma Sweeney
Axios Press, June 2012
180 pages

Book description:
Near the end of WWII, a Navy pilot meets and falls in love with a beautiful California girl. They have a brief two weeks together before he is shipped off to the South Pacific. This is an engaging collection of his letters, compiled by the daughter he never got to meet. Full of poignant detail—a chronicle of the passions and fears of wartime—the book is the ultimate love story of America's “greatest generation.”

My thoughts:

I love correspondence, from writing and receiving letters to reading epistolary novels, so accepting As Alway, Jack for review was a no-brainer. This book, however, is not a novel. It represents one woman's opportunity to meet the father she never knew through his letters to her mother written shortly after the two first met.

We read of Jack's falling in love, gradually discover his sense of humor, and even learn of his growing uncertainty as the reunion with Beebe nears. He share bits about his life in the South Pacific and brings the time/place alive for the reader.

This beautiful edition was a quick read and very touching, but I wish Beebe's letters had been included, too.

A few favorite passages:
Dearest Beebe,
I'm certainly glad I figured out that I was in love with you. It explains a lot of queer things that have been puzzling me - for instance, why I write you so many letters, why I think about you most of the day and dream about you most of the night, and why I'm so eager to get back to the states. With your female intuition (which doesn't work so good on horses) you probably knew it all along, though. I know I'll never forget anything about those twelve days between Dec. 29 and Jan. 9... (page 39) 

"... The only picture I have of you is in my memory, but I don't think it'll wear off. Seriously, Cotton, I miss you more all the time. I thought possibly when I first left you, way back there in January, that the reason I thought of nothing but you was that it was the most recent happening in my life; but the longer I'm away, the better perspective I seem to get and the more I realize that you're the most wonderful girl I've known."  (page 70) 

"Which brings up a little point I should like to discuss briefly with you, Beebe. You know we really only knew each other for two weeks, although I'm sure we came to know each other better in those two  weeks than any other couples could. It's been five months since those two weeks came off, and all you've had in that time were my picture (and pictures like that are nearly always flattering) and my letters, in which I also try to flatter myself. In these five months you're bound to have gradually exaggerated my good features in your mind and more or less forgotten the bad ones (honest, I do have one or two bad ones - but there I go again). Probably you realize all this, honey, as I've suspected from the first you are not such a girl as would overlook such commonsense thing. The reason I'm being so serious about it is that just in case you do feel some sense of disappointment when the highly-advertised Sweeney steps off his train (or plane), just be sure to remember that the main thing is what we'relike inside and what we feel about things, etc. I'm sure you know what I'm trying to get across even if I'm not expressing it too clearly." (page 139-140)
My rating:



Giveaway:
The publisher has provided an additional copy of As Always, Jack for one of my readers (sorry, US and Canada only). If you would like to be entered in the giveaway, please let me know in your comment. I will draw a winner on Monday July 23.

About the Author:
Emma Sweeney is the author of several gardening books as well as a literary agent based in New York.  She formed her own agency in 2006 and has had five New York Times bestsellers, including the #1 New York Times best seller, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.  She is a member of the Association of Authors’ Representatives and the Women’s Media Group, where she served as its president in 2003. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a BA in English Literature.  She divides her time between New York City and Rhinebeck, New York.

Thank you to TLC Book Tours for sending me a review copy. The complete tour schedule for As Always, Jack is here.




26 comments:

  1. Sounds good, and like something I might like to read! I started reading your blog recently, and it looks like we have similar literary tastes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenna - This was definitely a 'feel good' type of book. Thanks for visiting -it's good to 'meet' you!

      Delete
  2. Sounds very sweet. I passed on it when I read it was a one-sided conversation, so to speak, because not knowing what the response was would have killed me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audra - It definitely would have been a much better book with the added dimension of Beebe's letters. I really wanted to know what she was writing to Jack!!

      Delete
  3. I agree that including Beebee's letters would have rounded the story out a bit more. I may have to pick this one up at some point as I love the format that it is written in!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Staci - It's so hard for me to resist this format, too! There's nothing like reading letters.

      Delete
  4. As a novel, I think this premise has been done to death but as a non-fiction read, the addition of the letters would probably make it more compelling from a reader's standpoint.

    No need to enter me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ti - Exactly! If this were a novel, I doubt I would have picked it up... loved the fact that it was real! Still, would have loved to see the other side of the correspondence.

      Delete
  5. I really like the sounds of this one. Thanks for the chance to win.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nancy - You're welcome! I've entered your name in the drawing.

      Delete
  6. Thanks for the giveaway! I am always looking for something a little different and this looks perfect. It is going on my list of books to read regardless of whether I win or not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Elisabeth - This is definitely something different, and well worth reading! I've entered you in the giveaway.

      Delete
  7. Thanks for the giveaway. Several members of my book club love WWII books, so I would love to win a book for one of them.
    Emma @ Words And Peace
    ehc16e at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WordsandPeace - WWII buffs would love this! I've entered you in the giveaway.

      Delete
  8. I agree. I wish we could have seen both sides of the correspondence! (No need to enter me. I am on this tour, too!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kailana - Beebe's letters would have added so much to the book! Sigh.

      Delete
  9. Gonna have to give this one some thought. I do like epistolary novels. There's just something about them that pulls me through the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa - I know exactly what you mean! The epistolary format makes it seem so much more personal.

      Delete
  10. What an experience for the author to get to know her father this way - I love it!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. heathertlc - I can only imagine how she must have felt reading these letters for the first time... what an experience! Thanks for having me on the tour.

      Delete
  11. Hi Jo Ann - thanks for your review and for reading my book! I agree with you and the others who commented that it would be great if we had my mother's letters. I often wonder how they went astray - if she threw them out around the time he died or when she moved from Bermuda back to Coronado. I feel certain my father would have saved them and brought them back but then maybe not? I'll never know. But the thing is, even without her letters, I get such a strong sense of who she was from his letters! And I love that about his letters. I also love just reading about the movies and plays and music of WWII - you really get a sense of the period from his letters.

    Thanks to all for reading the book! I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Emma - What an amazing opportunity for you to meet your father through these letters! I suppose it's only human to always want more - for us, as readers, letters from Beebe. Either way, this was a very touching book and I loved the feeling of time and place it gave me. Thanks so much for visiting.

      Delete
  12. I want to read this one mainly because I'm nosy ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stacybuckeye - LOL, there's something about letters that brings out the busybody in all of us!

      Delete
  13. Sounds like a sweet story and I like the letter format also.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathleen - There's something about the letter format that makes it all seem even more real.

      Delete

Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails