It wasn’t until later in his life that author T.L. Needham began hearing stories about a lost aunt who had become a nun. Intrigued by that, and wondering at the secrecy for all those years, Needham began digging into his family’s past, beginning in the 1920s and onward, in this nonfiction book.
The main character and Needham’s uncle, Louis Pfeiffer, finds himself as the last parachutist out of his plane on D-Day just before his plane is shot down, killing all on board. The rest of his unit are captured by the Germans and interred in a POW camp. The family’s story weaves in and out of that time as Louis recalls different events and different relatives.
Needham holds no punches in describing both the good and the bad in his family tree. His grandfather was a bootleg bully. His mother, “Jerry”, and Uncle Louis were sent to an orphanage for a time. The family lost their farm during the 30s dustbowl and stock market crash. Yet, through it all, Needham finds the silver lining, the soft touch, the kind heart that gives his family depth, character and grace.
This book is like a biography of an entire family, not just one person. If you like human interest stories and accounts of how people survived almost impossible odds, I highly recommend this book.