#LSBBT Blog Tour: Landing in My Present by Mary Walker Clark

LANDING IN MY PRESENT
by
Mary Clark Biography / Aviation / Historical / WWII
Publisher: Hellgate Press Date of Publication: June 15, 2020
Number of Pages: 218
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Mary Walker Clark barely knew her father. When he died, he left not only the obvious void every teen would experience, but took with him scores of Indiana Jones-style tales about flying the Hump, a treacherous series of US missions that transported supplies over the Himalayas to China during World War II. 
It would take a chance interview with a pilot who had flown with her father in the war to launch a series of extraordinary journeysinto a shrouded past and halfway around the globe to India and Chinafor Clark to finally come to know the father whose absence had haunted her for decades. 
Landing in My Present chronicles the adventures of a daughter who chose to pry open a painful past while enlarging her view of an adventurous father long thought lost.
CLICK TO ORDER ON: AMAZONHELLGATE PRESS

As I get older, I begin to realize that one of the hardest things in life is grappling with the past in the present.  Landing In My Present is not only a story of familial discovery, but of the lessons learned along the way.  As a historian, I have  been studying place and shared memory for a very long time.  Oftentimes, our loved ones wish to not take up space in our lives with stories of the past because they want us to live in the present.  Mary Walker Clark’s father is a prime example of this, having lived his life without a lot of talk about his days in the war.  He passed away in November 1966.  50 years later, Mary Walker Clark undertook a journey to learn about her father and explore those spaces that he inhabited during his service years. 

A beautiful line in the beginning struck a resounding chord with me:  “How do you broaden your relationship with someone who has been dead 50 years?”  This is the key to this story and the key to Mary’s journey.  Throughout the book, I saw a lot of myself in Mary’s descriptions of her experiences and her emotions.  I too deal with grief in a similar way, silence at first, but oftentimes I look for pieces of those people in the historical record and experience that grief all over again.  Not to worry though, this is not a sad story, it’s a story of self-discovery! 

Along the way, there are beautifully written vignettes, just snippets of memory, that draw you even deeper into Mary’s narrative.  She describes her father as an entrepreneur, always striving to implement a new technique or innovate.  That innovative, ingenious spirit reminds me of my grandfather, also born and raised in the Texas Panhandle in a tiny town.  I don’t know if it’s the spirit of the Texas Panhandle farmer or if there is something unique about growing up in this region, but the similarities between my family and the author’s family were touching. 

The metaphorical journey through memory, coupled with the physical journey to re-trace the author’s footsteps are a revelation!  This is the best sort of memoir, weaving memory with the historical record to bring the reader into a world of hardship turned success.  It is hard for me to put into words how this book made me feel, being a historian from the Texas Panhandle.  It warmed my heart, it made me emotional, and it taught me a little bit more about myself and my family. 

I enjoyed this story from beginning to end and would recommend this to anyone looking for a touching memoir about finding yourself in the past and grappling with that in the present.  Mary Walker Clark is a talented writer and accomplished narrator.  A great book for Texans and an even better book for history lovers!

Thank you to Mary Walker Clark and Lone Star Book Blog Tours for the opportunity to read and review this book!  This is my honest review.

Mary Walker Clark is a retired attorney turned travel writer who loves taking readers with her to worldwide destinations. She has been traveling independently and internationally for over fifty years. Her essays may be found in the Paris News, at her blog, “Mary Clark, Traveler,” and her podcasts at KETR 88.9, an NPR affiliate. Clark is an award-winning member of the North American Travel Journalists Association and a contributor to Still Me, … After All These Years, 24 Writers Reflect on Aging. 
In 2016, Clark traveled to India and China to follow her father’s WWII footsteps when he was a Hump pilot flying over the Himalayas. Her journey to connect with him fifty years after his death is told in her book, Landing in My Present
Clark is a fifth generation Texan living in Paris, Texas.
Website ║ Facebook  Blog
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GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!  GIVEAWAY!
THREE WINNERS 
FIRST WINNER: $25 Amazon card  SECOND WINNER: Signed copy of Landing in My Present THIRD WINNER: $15 Amazon card.
 July 21-July 31, 2020
CLICK TO VISIT THE LONE STAR LITERARY LIFE TOUR PAGE FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST ON THIS TOUR, UPDATED DAILY.  Or, visit the blogs directly:
7/21/20
BONUS Post
7/21/20
Review
7/22/20
Review
7/22/20
Review
7/23/20
Review
7/24/20
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7/24/20
Review
7/25/20
Review
7/26/20
Review
7/27/20
Review
7/27/20
Review
7/28/20
BONUS Post
7/28/20
Review
7/29/20
Review
7/29/20
Review
7/30/20
Review
7/30/20
Review
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3 thoughts

  1. Thank you, Katie, for your lovely review. I’m always happy to make contact with another Panhandle girl and history lover. I honestly thought the WWII aspect would be the strongest selling point of my book but have found from other readers that it is the personal journey that resonates most. I did love the treasure hunt of discovering parts of my father’s past, much like historians must feel in their research. Thank you again for your thoughtful review.

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  2. Great review, and I, too, liked the personal journey in reading this book. I think what connects readers to stories is personal, not so much factual.

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