Fighting to win the war in the Philippines during WWII, Marine dive bomber pilot Captain Tommy Johnson is also fighting to win his sweetheart's love back home. The minutes of Farm Boy to Fly Boy are filled with the actual love letters written by our pilot from 1941-1945 to the girl he hopes to marry.
The book begins by biographically following the couple's small town Kansas courtship. Autobiographical comments are added from Tommy Johnson, now 94, as he reflects back on his romance with Margaret, his wife of 50 years. The letters shift from college to entering the fight after Pearl Harbor, then flight school, naval training, and eventually to his dive bombing missions in the South Pacific. Until, at last, the final letter that he is gratefully coming home to drive her around town in a Buick convertible.
Where does Farm Boy to Flyboy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
The goal of recognizing the sacrifice of life and service during WWII, and the desire to help others open up and feel supported in sharing their experience is well conceived. WWII was the end of much of our country's support for the military and those who serve. For this reason, it makes this audio book a more important one to hear.
What other book might you compare Farm Boy to Flyboy to and why?
Well certainly Dairy of Anne FrankStory of a Common Soldier
Have you listened to any of Eddie Frierson and Marilyn Hackett ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
This is my first for Marilyn Hackett, my second for Eddie Frierson. I also listened to Matty, written and performed by Frierson. It is difficult to compare the two as they are very different styles, this is written from one voice reading love letters while Matty is an entire one person show, with many voices. What is consistent in both is Frierson's ability and talent to carry the audience along in the story line, the development of character, and the wonderful display of emotions. You want to root for the leading character, Frierson makes that easy to do.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The final letter read by Frierson from a soldier who had seen the performance. It shows how impactful and truthful the presentation of this play is and the need to help others be able to express their realities in a cathartic way.
Any additional comments?
It was a lovely concept to share love letters to create the story and characters. I wasn't alive during WWII, this allowed me to experience just a bit of the struggle, the commitment, the sacrifice and love freely given.
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