Set in Japan 1945-1946 during the American occupation post WW II. A young soldier, Francis Vancleave, narrates the story about getting assigned to General Douglas McArthur's staff when it's discovered that he has typing skills. We get some scenes inside McArthur's family, especially with the general's eight year old son, whom Francis befriends beyond the request to babysit when he realizes how lonely it must be for a young boy so far from the familiar things of home and confined to a military compound. We also see his perspective of Tokyo and its nightlife with fellow soldiers, especially his bunk mate with whom he shares letters from home and the constant worries about what those letters may, and eventually do bring them. Francis has a new war bride waiting for him Stateside.
While his bunk mate gets deeper into some shady dealings and entertains pan-pan girls Frances tries hard to stay faithful and out of trouble even while he worries about him. There are other aspects of the story I have not mentioned but I don't like to say too much in a review, I like to be surprised when I read a story myself. The writing is very smooth and the story moves at a good pace. At 208 pages it's an easy one day read and it's a smaller hardcover that fits the hand just right. The story is very true to life I thought. I'm familiar with the time period and military service and I believed every word of it. Highly recommended
This review was requested by Kathy at Bermudaonion's Weblog who asked...
"I'd like to know what you thought of The Typist - I met the author in September and he was charming."
Aspects of the story I think you'll enjoy:
-Francis is an Alabama boy whose Southern standards are very important to him.
-I know your father was military, mine was too, so many of the things mentioned will be more familiar to us.
-There's a army/navy football game arranged by McArthur in the story. This is based on a true incident that occurred in Japan at the time. I know how much you like watching men fight over a pigskin.
I think this story is made for you, Kathy. Thank you for asking.
My policy is to write brief reviews only by request of my readers. Any book I've read or am currently reading, please just ask.
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