- Paperback: 204 pages
- Publisher: FriesenPress (Feb. 1 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1525520377
- ISBN-13: 978-1525520372
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.2 x 22.9 cm
- Shipping Weight: 204 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #364,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
That Lucky Old Son: Re-Discovering My Father Through His World War II Bomber Command and POW Experiences Paperback – Feb 1 2018
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About the Author
In his first book, Mark Cote captures the emotion and essence of the period he aptly recreates. A trained researcher and academic scientist, Cote has devoted his professional life to teaching and learning. He holds an M.Sc. in Geography with a specialty in atmospheric sciences, and has taught numerous courses in Geography and Environmental Science. Cote is an Associate Member of the RAF 158 Squadron Association and his interest in aviation history has led him to visit numerous air museums including those housing restored Halifax bombers. This suits his passion to dig into archives and create stories from disparate facts.
Mark Cote and his wife, Shelley, live in Regina, Saskatchewan, where the author grew up and where the couple raised their only child-a son named after the author's father....
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The author avoids the tedium of for example Guy Gibson's Enemy Coast Ahead which like several books recounts all the sorties and pub outings in lengthy detail.
But what actually struck me more emotionally in an unexpected moment was seeing the rear turret, so small, so isolated, so exposed, it brought immediate tears to my eyes.
I thought of all the tail end Charlie’s whose flying careers in Ww2 were spent in this vulnerable and defensive position, desperately searching the skies ready to defend their crew while all but cut off from them at the same time.
Mark, through carefully studying his family history, adding much research and utilising the recollections of aircrew including his father’s pilot, has recreated moments of his father’s RCAF service in an RAF squadron that takes us on an exploration that capture his father’s experiences and those sharing his journey with impactful clarity.
This book is definitely a must for all those with an interest in Bomber Command but it’s so much more then that. It paints a tale that transcends generations to see a father through his son’s eyes and the influences on them both in the years that follow.
It’s both a tale of exciting action and adventure and a poignant story of relationships. Aircrews whose reliance on its other for survival forged an unbreakable bond like no other, knew the statistics were increasingly against them with each consequent operation they embarked on.
A family love story was greatly impacted by the tragic consequences that injuries and ill health brought about from the war.
The prose is eloquently written, with riveting and evocative passages that bring the reader right into the bomber with its crew, gripping us with tension as they fly out into constant danger, and giving us an insight into the relationships forged. The harrowing conditions only got worst as Len’s war progressed down a dangerous path.
The sweet thoughtful exchanges and observances between father and son as recalled through a child’s prospective wrap around their individual and combined stories.
It’s a remarkable journey of a son discovering the man who was his father, one of a generation who called themselves ordinary men, but we know as heroes who did extraordinary things.
I cannot highly recommend this book enough, you will enjoy it thoroughly.
I enjoyed how each chapter started off with the author, Mark Cote’s memories of his dad, Len. I found it intriguing how Mark then wove the theme of his memory into the rest of the chapter of his dad’s war experiences. I just can’t seem to get the rice pudding chapter out of my mind, especially since I love rice pudding, or at least I used to!
I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but can you judge a cover by its book? The cover is fantastic, with a picture of the author’s dad, Len, woven together with a Halifax bomber that Len had spent so much time in. But my attention was really drawn to the silhouette of the man and child, as it demonstrates that there were a few lucky ones who were able to have a life after their service, unlike all those who never made it back.
The book just feels good to hold. Honestly...I’m a voracious reader, and some books just feels good to hold. Maybe when a book is written with so much love, it actually has a positive vibration to it!
The author provides a web address on the back of the book which is so worth checking out. It includes pictures, documents, and writings of Len Cote’s crewmates, family and other relevant items. This makes the book even more meaningful, because you will know for certain that the main people in the book were/are real, living human beings, not just story characters.
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