Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Book Review Of ♣♣Fighters Pilot's Daughter by Mary Lawlor♣♣

Title: Fighter Pilot's Daughter 
Author: Mary Lawlor
Year: ©2013
My Review:★★★★★
Pages: 338
Genre:  Memoir
Format: Hardcover;Signed
Sources: Pump Up Your Book
Publishers: Rowman & Littlefield 

Purchase Link:    



                                                                   FIGHTER PILOT’S DAUGHTER: GROWING UP IN THE SIXTIES AND THE COLD WAR tells the story of the author as a young woman coming of age in an Irish Catholic, military family during the Cold War. Her father, an aviator in the Marines and later the Army, was transferred more than a dozen times to posts from Miami to California and Germany as the government’s Cold War policies demanded. For the pilot’s wife and daughters, each move meant a complete upheaval of ordinary life. The car was sold, bank accounts closed, and of course one school after another was left behind. Friends and later boyfriends lined up in memory as a series of temporary attachments. The book describes the dramas of this traveling household during the middle years of the Cold War. In the process, FIGHTER PILOT’S DAUGHTER shows how the larger turmoil of American foreign policy and the effects of Cold War politics permeated the domestic universe.

                                                                 The climactic moment of the story takes place in the spring of 1968, when the author’s father was stationed in Vietnam and she was attending college in Paris. Having left the family’s quarters in Heidelberg, Germany the previous fall, she was still an ingĂ©nue; but her strict upbringing had not gone deep enough to keep her anchored to her parents’ world. When the May riots broke out in the Latin quarter, she attached myself to the student leftists and American draft resisters who were throwing cobblestones at the French police. Getting word of her activities via a Red Cross telegram delivered on the airfield in Da Nang, Vietnam, her father came to Paris to find her. The book narrates their dramatically contentious meeting and return to the American military community of Heidelberg. The book concludes many years later, as the Cold War came to a close. After decades of tension that made communication all but impossible, the author and her father reunited. As the chill subsided in the world at large, so it did in the relationship between the pilot and his daughter. When he died a few years later, the hard edge between them, like the Cold War stand-off, had become a distant memory.

            "My Review"

This was a very captivating read. I am glad I am branching out to many times of different genres. This book was a very touching read, and I am happy that Ms. Mary opened up and talked about her life, what she went through, and how the time changed. This book deserves to be taught and shared in schools because of the major part of history it reflects upon. This book scared me, because its very tough growing up with a family member in the army risking their lives to save the country from any harm that approaches our way. I understood the struggle she was in by really not having a stable place to grown to and her father's absents all the time. As girls we always look and think to doing many different things with our father we share together as memories. The thing I admired about this book, is that they stayed together as a family even though they lost contact. Its hard to give up things you miss but at the end of the day your trying to do whats right for your kids, and your family which I think your mother and father were brave enough to do . A round of applause goes to this family. I'm happy to hear that the family reunited back again, and I felt the death of the family which I teared up to. My heart goes to this family for all they have went through, and struggles they faced.

           "Mary Lawlor"


 Mary Lawlor grew up in an Army family during the Cold War. Her father was a decorated fighter pilot who fought in the Pacific during World War II, flew missions in Korea, and did two combat tours in Vietnam. His family followed him from base to base and country to country during his years of service. Every two or three years, Mary, her three sisters, and her mother packed up their household and moved. By the time she graduated from high school, she had attended fourteen different schools. These displacements, plus her father's frequent absences and brief, dramatic returns, were part of the fabric of her childhood, as were the rituals of base life and the adventures of life abroad. As Mary came of age, tensions between the patriotic, Catholic culture of her upbringing and the values of the sixties counterculture set family life on fire. While attending the American College in Paris, she became involved in the famous student uprisings of May 1968. Facing her father, then posted in Vietnam, across a deep political divide, she fought as he had taught her to for a way of life completely different from his and her mother’s. Years of turbulence followed. After working in Germany, Spain and Japan, Mary went on to graduate school at NYU, earned a Ph.D. and became a professor of literature and American Studies at Muhlenberg College. She has published three books, Recalling the Wild (Rutgers UP, 2000), Public Native America (Rutgers UP, 2006), and most recently Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War (Rowman and Littlefield, September 2013).


  1. Thank you for this review, Shanae. I'm very happy to know you liked it. That means a great deal. All the best to you.

    1. You are more than welcome and thank you.