Farmer’s Son, Military Career
This memoir takes the reader through half a century of the author’s life, from his early years in South Dakota post-WWII to the first decade of the new millennium. The story depicts the author’s early life on a farm, to working his way up the enlisted ranks of the Air Force, and then returning to college after retirement. The memoir is in clear chronology. It gives a detailed account of everyday life of Midwestern farmland and military bases. Typical interactions of the people in the story are well-portrayed, such as joking among the troops during training. The author also includes photographs of the many people and places mentioned. The narrative is a series of smaller stories, making it episodic. This gives the reader an intimate view of its people and places. However, the story could benefit from some focus. Most memoirs spend more time on one aspect of the writer’s life: personal or professional, for example, or a specific time period. In this memoir, almost as much time is spent on a detailed account of visiting a relative in a nursing home as flying into a battle. Neither is intrinsically a better subject for the book, but some focus is needed on either the personal or professional. There are also long passages detailing such common matters of driving into a new city, unpacking, getting a rental car, and going out to dinner. These details do provide a clear picture of day-to-day life, but some cutting back here might be beneficial. This depends on whom the author sees as the audience. Sometimes the author writes as if assuming the reader is familiar with the people and places, indicating the memoir has a very specific audience of friends and family, which is fine. However, if a broader audience is the goal, more focus on the author’s professional life, which really is fascinating, would be beneficial.
The writing style is clear, with some attention to grammar and punctuation concerns needed. Overall, the memoir pulls the reader in through rich detail.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Page Count||334 pages|
|Publisher||Page Publishing, Inc|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|