Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Karen Fisher-Alaniz "Breaking the Code: A Father's Secret, a Daughter's Journey, and the Question That Changed Everything"



Available on Amazon where you can check out their 'Look Inside' feature and on Barnes & Noble.

This review is part of the author's continuing blog tour with Women On Writing (WOW)


A perfect read over Veteran's Day Weekend. This review is part of the author's tour with Women on Writing (WOW). Read the author's interview on The Muffin and follow her blog tour. Visit the author's website and enter a raffle through Dec. 7th and a chance to win a double-signed copy of her book. Bookplates will be signed by both Karen and her 91 year old father. Visit Twitter at #breakingthecode to see more reviews and contest.



Author's father 1945


A truly heart endearing memoir of a daughter who sets out to unravel her fathers past when he was stationed in the Pacific during WWII. On his 81st birthday, her father placed two old notebooks on her lap, with more than 400 pages of letters he'd written home to his parents. What started out as a simple quest to transcribe these letters, became a healing process for both, as the author discovers her father was a Japanese code breaker,  a secret he has kept from his family over all the years. Father and daughter began a nine year journey of healing and reaffirming their relationship. The author watched as her father painfully tried to bring back memories, often in pieces, that she has put together. The chronology of the book does not necessarily reflect the chronology of how his memories came back, yet the story is whole on what transpired during the war and in later years.

"I always knew my father had been in war. But as a child it was of little importance to me. I had bicycles to ride, friends to play with, and trees to climb.

He would tell us stories about the war. He was in the Navy and stationed at Pearl Harbor a few years after it was bombed in 1941. He spent his days working in an office. On liberty he went to the movies  or exploring with friends. These were the stories he told, which were never terribly interesting."

The stories were boring to young children. They were safe stories that didn't hurt anyone and didn't require answering questions. The author and her sister were tired of hearing them. Only later would the discovery of her father's secret life, his heroism, and the stress that followed him all his years after his service time, come to light.

This book is not only a personal story for the author and her father, but a look at history during WWII, presented in a way that is easy to read and highly informative.

I loved the layout of the book, the old photographs, and naive illustrations, bring the flavor of the period to life. The author has a way with narration, and dialog, that keeps the reader involved.


Author Karen Fisher-Alaniz



Karen's Father Murray Fisher





Daughter and Father at a recent book signing.

( 3 photos from author's Amazon page)