Love letters stashed among papers he reads after his mother’s passing send Canadian journalist Tyler Trafford on a global journey of discovery that takes him, most importantly, deep into his own heart.
Mike Vendetti’s baritone hits the appropriately somber tone as a son learns of his Canadian debutante mother’s secret engagement to a Norwegian fighter pilot, one of the few to return home after the famous "Great Escape" from a Nazi POW camp. While his mother, victim to her own mother’s demons, was never able to become the writer she hoped or escape a loveless marriage, Trafford learns that what he experienced as rejection was instead his mother’s best effort to provide him freedom and happiness.
Following his mother's death, in 2004, Tyler Trafford discovers an album of old letters and creased photographs that reveal a mother he never knew, a man he's never heard of, and a love affair doomed by class and circumstance. The letters are from Jens Mller, a Norwegian pilot who trained in Canada during the early days of World War II, one of only three prisoners who would make it home after The Great Escape.
In Almost a Great Escape, Trafford takes us on a journey of emotional discovery and dramatic disclosure as he reconstructs his mother's life, from her youth as a wealthy Montreal debutante to her final days as a broken but unbent casualty of a loveless marriage. His search for answers takes him across Canada and then across the ocean to Norway, hoping to learn more about the mystery of this secret relationship.
Written with a fluidity fueled by heart-wrenching honesty, Trafford's unconventional memoir confirms that while you can survive your past, you can never escape from it.
Tyler Trafford was a reporter in Calgary Alberta Canada. Following his mother's death in 2004 he inherited a Campbell soup cardboard box from his Mother. It was crammed with letters, a journal and photographs that revealed a history of his mother he never imagined. His mother was a beautiful girl from a rich family in Montreal whose Mother was controlling. She met a young pilot from Norway who was training at a nearby base. His name was Jens Muller, the love letters were from him. He went down over German and was a P.O. W. he was with a group that escaped. A movie was made about the escape called "The Great Escape" Muller was one of the few that made it out. I will not spoil the story but Trafford wrote the book about how he puts his mother's life as a young woman together. It does show how decision made can effect our life forever. Mike Vendetti does a good job reading the story.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
I'm afraid that it may take a poet to do this book justice. I remember checking at points to see if this was a novel. I had wondered how he could know some of these things as they seemed so intimate. I got to understand by the time I finished the book. This book doesn't actually tell you all that much about the Great Escape. However, you get to know a couple of men and a few women in an interesting way. I grew to love and admire them all through the course of the book. I found I was quite moved, but I can't see to get out a decent coherent description of all I read. It feels much too intimate and delicate to try and convey the story in any summary I might try and make. The writing seemed ordinary, even simple, yet I was profoundly impacted by the book. This is a surprising find. Perhaps my Canadian heritage and my love of the Great Escape helped warm me to the book. What I can say is that I gobbled up the book with surprising speed.
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
I am more of a military history buff. If thats what you into this book might not be for you.
What was most disappointing about Tyler Trafford’s story?
The beginning is a little abstract for a miltary history buff
What aspect of Mike Vendetti’s performance would you have changed?
What character would you cut from Almost a Great Escape?
0 of 1 people found this review helpful