LANDING IN MY PRESENT by Mary Clark, *Review, Lone Star Book Blog Tour
LANDING IN MY PRESENT
Biography / Aviation / Historical / WWII
Publisher: Hellgate Press
Date of Publication: June 15, 2020
Number of Pages: 218
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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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It's very special for me to get to review this book. I'm a Mary Clark fan. I know where she comes from, I know her professionally, and I have seen her travel writing and blogging for years. I've also seen her heart for the community and have benefitted from her mentorship occasionally as a lawyer. As I read "Landing in My Present," I could imagine her openness when traveling, her ability to listen and learn from those she meets. So I freely admit my bias. I've told her to write a book for years! I'm so glad she did.
This is some of Mary's best writing. She goes deep, exploring her feelings for all of us to see in relation to the loss, and finding, of her father. This made the book so much more special. I believe the finding of her father by traveling his most difficult "road" is a universal story for many, especially right now as we have lost most of the great generation and as we are all essentially grounded. We continue to have a fascination for WWII and the generation that gave all for it. This book explores more of that for us. Also, the way Mary wrote this soul-searching travel memoir, I grew to care about her family and father, and I loved seeing some familiar names as well as hearing about those she met along the way. It was a special treat to see the mystery of the trip unfold as it did, and then to be transported to the magical places in the end.
I've always known that Mary was a fearless traveler. I guess one of the things that surprised me most is that her husband (a pediatrician) worries the most for them. (Then I thought, well of course! He's a doctor, he would worry about germs. And that little truth drove home the need to make sure all my vaccines are up to date before I travel again.). I didn't expect to see how Mary's fearlessness played out, as I sat from my comfy spot at home and wondered if I could be brave enough to take the roads less traveled, as she has. I'm not sure I will, though I know I'll continue to travel, but I can say I'm inspired. And I want more travel books by Mary!
Bravo, Mary. Thank you for sharing this book with us all. Of course, now I must prod you to get it on audio.
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.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
FIRST WINNER: $25 Amazon card
SECOND WINNER: Signed copy of Landing in My Present
THIRD WINNER: $15 Amazon card.
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