Wednesday, March 30, 2011

by John Darnton

John never knew who his father was and his brother, Robert only had faint memories.
Byron Darnton was killed in World War II. He was a war correspondent (known to everyone as Barney) for The New York Times. Why a man with a wife and two very young sons (eleven months and two years old) would leave them to go overseas and report on the fighting, at the age of forty-four, had many people scratching their heads. The soldiers on the ship that he was on couldn't understand why he was there with them. (Barney had permission to join the forces.) John's mother tried to regroup and give her children a life worth remembering. She often spoke of Barney as this larger-than-life hero who was held in such high esteem.
When John Darnton retired from working at The New York Times (yes, he followed in his father's footsteps) in 2006, he decided, with his brother, to investigate their parents' past.
Almost a Family socks you in the jaw. It is such a powerful story. The writing is absolutely superb. Darnton has such a way with words that for much of the book, you are kept on the edge of your seat. The truth about his father is a real eye-opener.
Get this book. You won't be disappointed.
Very highly recommended.