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As Always, Jack: A Wartime Love Story
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As Always, Jack: A Wartime Love Story

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  346 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Near the end of WWII, a Navy pilot meets and falls in love with a beautiful California girl. They have a brief two weeks together before he is shipped off to the South Pacific. This is an engaging collection of his letters, compiled by the daughter he never got to meet. Full of poignant detail—a chronicle of the passions and fears of wartime—the book is the ultimate love s ...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published April 4th 2003 by Back Bay Books (first published April 10th 2002)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  346 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Kristin R
Jul 13, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This is a beautiful and sweet biography about the author's father whom she never got to meet. Her mother and father met at the end of World War II and got married when he returned home. The author's mother was pregnant with her when her father's plane was lost at sea. She found a bunch of love letters written to her mother from her father and this is how she finally got to know her father. ...more
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The best love stories are true. Great reveal near the end. And yes, the ending had me diving for the tissue box!
Anne Clermont
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I don't normally read memoirs, or true stories, or collections, but this tore at my heart strings from the first letter. I had goosebumps as I read each page, cried, laughed. I could clearly see Jack, in a strange land, writing letters to the girl he'd just spent a short few days with, and realizes, within a few weeks of being apart, that he loves her. The torture of awaiting her letters, the lack of communication of war time (pre cell phones, text messages, Skype, email,) really brings home how ...more
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Four months after her father was lost in the waters south of Bermuda on what was supposed to have been a routine Navy flight, Emma Sweeney was born. By the time she was old enough to start wondering about the father she'd never known, Emma's mother had remarried. And with a reticence to revisit the past, perhaps characteristic of her mother's generation, information about her father was slow to come over the years, when at all. But following her mother's passing, Emma discovered her final gift - ...more
Kathleen (Kat) Smith
Emma Sweeney has spent her life wondering what her real father must have been like. From time to time, she could gather moments in time from her mother of what their courtship and marriage must have been like because he died before she was born. Her mother didn't like to talk about Jack much but when she did, Emma could tell she had fond memories of him. Yet somehow it still seemed like something was missing, a part of him she couldn't know until when her mother died from complications of heart ...more
Oct 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
A beautiful memoir and letters. Emma Sweeney meets the father she never knew via his love letters to her mother written in 1946. A navy pilot, Jack Sweeney left for an undetermined length of time for duty in the Pacific two weeks after he met the woman he would marry. Ten years later, while stationed in the Caribbean, Jack's plane goes into the Atlantic while on a mission, there were no suvivors. Emma is born several months later. Emma grew up knowing next to nothing about her father; her mother ...more
Marsha Laney
Apr 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I read this in a couple hours tonight. Phenomenal book told by letters from the author's late father. A navy pilot who eventually was lost in the Bermuda Triangle, the letters he wrote the woman who would later become his bride are a glimpse into the world of WWII America... They knew each other a mere two weeks but through letters learned about each and fell in love...A ten year marriage and five children were the result.., the author often wondered if her father knew she even existed since her ...more
Oct 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting and poignant glimpse into the lives of the main characters at the end of World War II and the early days of the Cold War. Emma Sweeney did a good job of presenting the background, the letters, and then the follow up.
Krizia Anna
Dec 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
A really really good non-fiction love story. Emma Sweeney's father is a really good letter writer. It has a tragic end but reading letters made me feel happy and loved. If this guy was alive at this time, at whatever age, I'll probably fall in love with him. His witty, funny, faithful, sure and sweet. Its hard to look for that kind of man nowadays. If you want an easy and happy read then pick this book up. :) ...more
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing read, both for the romantic aspect of the letters this man wrote to his girlfriend who became his wife and for the aspect of a daughter learning about her father through the letters he sent her mother before she was born. His letters are wonderfully witty and romantic and it definitely speaks to a time when there was romance and love and connections between people that were shared in letters. I just so absolutely enjoyed this.
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
A series of letters written by a navy pilot stationed overseas and sent to his sweetheart in California make up the bulk of this book. The letters are entertaining, sweet, and humorous. They make it easy to see why the girl fell in love with this guy during their correspondence. I love that it's a true story! ...more
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was ok
I was expecting a wartime love story with letters mixed in. What I got was a brief back story with letter after letter. Without seeing the letters she sent Jack, there was no way to understand what on earth his letters were talking about. It was all quite confusing. I put it down about 1/4 through and won't be picking it up again. ...more
Rachel M
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is the kind of book that you save to read on a snowy night when you are the only one at home, can light a fire in the fireplace, put on your fuzzy slippers and settle into a comfortable chair with hot chocolate, which is the main reason you read books, anyway.
Dec 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this in about an hour. I'm sure the author wished more than I do for the corresponding letters her mother wrote. Overall a sweet book. I wish there were more. ...more
I’m not one for memoirs usually but this quick read of a courtship told through letters certainly tugs the heartstrings at times.

The story of Jack & Beebe unfolds in three parts. Firstly, Emma finds letters sent by her father in her late mothers things. Never having known her father, & with her mother having been reluctant to talk about him, (why? that seems strange to me), naturally she is curious to learn more about him & through the letters she gets some understanding of the sort of man her f
Jill Furedy
Feb 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Filling in notes from my 2006 book journal:
I picked this up at a used book sale over the weekend. I vaguely recalled hearing about it - something about a book of collected love letters from the war, and the daughter found them after her parents passing. Then halfway through reading it and being caught up in the story, it hit me that maybe this was not the book I remembered and what if this one was just fiction. I was relieved to find it labeled memoir (though James Frey has damaged that title tr
Abby Gillis
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the third time I've read this book and I still love it. Makes me laugh and cry every single time. ...more
Nov 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
1-1/2 stars. A woman discovers the father she never knew in a series of letters he wrote to her mother during their courtship.
Barbara Pifer
Letters written from a soldier in the war to his love at home. The book was written by his daughter that he never met. I love books revolving around letters! Nice story watching the love develop.
Cassie Trapp
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet, short account of a man who loved his wife so well.
Jwt Jan50
Jul 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography, romance, 2017
Trolling through the shelves in an East Montgomery, AL public library and stumbled on this little treasure. Spent 20 years flying Naval Air. The posted reviews are spot on.
Poptart19 (ren)
3 stars

A nice story, but ultimately not very memorable.
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Really enjoyed this one. Reminded me a bit.
Jul 05, 2012 rated it liked it
As Always, Jack by Emma Sweeney is an epistolary memoir in that letters from Sweeney’s father to her mother are shared with several sections of explanation from Sweeney, herself. After just 11 days together, Jack and her mother corresponded for a year and a half through letters as he went off to help stabilize the Pacific following WWII. He wrote 45 letters to her mother over seven months in a oddball courtship that showcase her father’s wit and humor as well as his constant devotion.

In many way
Oct 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
Emma Sweeney never knew her father, Jack, who shared a whirlwind romance with her mother via letters while stationed in the Pacific just after WWII. Jack died during a Navy flight before Emma was born. So as an adult Emma sought to learn more about the father she had never met. Here she shares his love letters to her mother, written after they had briefly met and were then separated for many months before marrying.

Not a book to take the world by storm, but the letters are terribly sweet! And the
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is great depth in this collection of letters from a young US Navy pilot to the girl he had known for only ten days before leaving for duty in the Pacific after WW2. They reawaken an awareness of what one might call old fashioned values and abiding love. Given that there was no committal at the outset a wonderful story evolves in this correspondence. The outcome, and the future of the couple is related by Jack's daughter, completing a rather surprising story that lingers in one's mind. The ...more
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a short read. The story is read -- a collection of letters from a serviceman at the end of WWII to his girlfriend who later becomes his wife. Edited by the daughter he never knew. He was killed in the 1950s in a plane accident while she was in utero. It was very moving, real and funny too.
Jul 30, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: wwii-books
I read this book in less than 3 hours so it is definitely a fast read. In the book, the author, Emma Sweeney, shares the letters that her father wrote to her mother in the months following the end of WWII. The Sweeny's mother was pregnant with her when her father died in flight so the letters helped her understand who her father was and shed light on the early days of her parents courtship.

Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved this book. I've rediscovered how much I love epistolary stories and reading handwritten correspondence. It makes me long for the days when we still communicated via handwritten letter. A beautiful love story told through a young man's letters. I won't give the ending away, but the last letter is especially poignant. ...more
Judith Kich
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a collection of letters a woman's father, a navy pilot in 1946 wrote to her mother before they were married. He died near Bermuda when his plane exploded. At the time he died, her mother was pregnant with her fifth child, this daughter.

If you like wartime romance, this is a short but touching read.
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