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Extended Audio Sample My Father’s Secret War: A Memoir, by Lucinda Franks Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (400 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lucinda Franks Narrator: Joyce Bean Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9781400173815
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In this moving and compelling memoir about parent and child, father and daughter, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Lucinda Franks discovers that the remote, nearly impassive man she grew up with had in fact been a daring spy behind enemy lines in World War II. His exploits revealed a man of remarkable bravado-posing as a Nazi guard, slipping behind enemy lines to blow up ammunition dumps, and being flown to one of the first concentration camps liberated by the Allies to report on the atrocities found there.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Here is one of the most original memoirs of our time-an unsparing double portrait of an elusive and mysterious man and the daughter determined to learn the fullest truth about his life. Richly documented by the author’s research into US military intelligence records and her father’s private correspondence, My Father’s Secret War moves with the dramatic and moral urgency of a Graham Greene novel.”

    Joyce Carol Oates

  • “Lucinda Franks’ personal quest to learn more about ‘her father’s secret war’ is a moving suspense story, brilliantly written and suffused with sensitivity and yearning.”

    Elie Wiesel

  • "My Father’s Secret War combines the heart-stopping suspense of a great thriller and the heart-melting pathos of a great family saga. It is an entirely new chapter in the complex history of fathers and daughters-and America.”

    Mary Gordon, New York Times bestselling author of Final Payments

  • "My Father’s Secret War tells the story of a devoted daughter’s search to understand a father broken and drained by the Second World War—a father who at the same time attracts, repels, and obsesses her. Lucinda Franks’ memoir is a fascinating combination of sensitivity, suspense, and mystery told against the Nazi nightmare.”

    Arthur Schlesinger Jr., historian

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah | 2/14/2014

    " Complicated story about WWII and Franks's relationship with her dad. Engrossing and fascinating. Call your dad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evelyn Porter | 2/10/2014

    " The book is the author's discovery of who her father really was. At times, it was rather slow moving. There were portions where I felt she forgot that she was a daughter and acted more like a hardheaded journalist by endlessly badgering her elderly father about his classified military missions during WWII. The ending when the author spends time with her father's mistress (and actually LISTENS to what the woman has to say), after Mr. Franks' passing, was very touching and brought tears. In many ways it sounded as if she were describing my father. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 1/22/2014

    " Interesting book. I enjoyed learning about WW II from a different perspective. It was a good good, not only well written, but the author, his daughter, is so very descriptive as she writes. I liked it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Liz | 1/13/2014

    " This author is the first woman to win a Pulitzer...I wasn't so impressed by her writing style but her storytelling is great and it helps that she had a great story to tell. It's all about secret spies in WW2. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martha | 1/11/2014

    " There are so many tv shows about spies, it was interesting to read a book about someone who really did grow up living with a spy. It reminded me of the movie a few years back with Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, where Damon becomes a spy, and over the years it completely removes all joy from his life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynndi | 1/10/2014

    " I learned so much from this book. The author tells about her father and the secrets he has kept for years. He was a spy during WWII. As she learns more about her father she goes from resenting him to respecting him. It was a slow read st times but in all I really enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaitlyn | 1/6/2014

    " This book wasn't what I originally thought it was going to be...an accoutn of one woman's father who was a spy in WWII. Instead, it was an insiteful look into what happened to a family because of what her father went through in the war, which ultimately affects her entire family life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee | 12/28/2013

    " I enjoyed this book. Forgiveness is healing. Knowledge of the past goes along way in helping a loved one to judge a little less harshly and to understand just what a life can endure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellen | 12/24/2013

    " This is another book that should have been a magazine article. While the author is prying into her father's life to prove whether or not he was a spy during WWII, there were times I wanted to slap her and tell her to leave her father alone. It went on way too long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 12/23/2013

    " Wonderful, well-written memoir written by a journalist for the NY Times and wife of Robert Morgenthau. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mikki | 12/3/2013

    " non fiction but good as a women searches for the truth about her father "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 11/6/2013

    " More on the heavy side, but a pretty interesting true story of a writers search through her fathers secret life as a spy during WWII. A totally disfuctional family, which is difficult to read about(get some counciling already)but atleast I felt like the author got some closure in the end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marilyn Litt | 10/10/2013

    " The author is a piece of work, but very honest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 12/11/2012

    " A personal story which is a good read for WWII history buffs "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Catherine | 11/10/2012

    " A touching portrait of the author's father . . . the book does a good job of illustrating how little we may know about those closest to us. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karina | 10/14/2012

    " Interesting look into the life of a WWII unsung hero and his family. Cindy Frank brings you along on her journey to discover who her father really was. This story kept me engaged and caused me to reflect on the relationships I have in my life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 8/11/2012

    " Interesting memior--some parts were a bit wordy, but it was interesting to see how WWII affected a soldier years later.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Norton | 5/9/2012

    " A great story that inspires. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lara | 12/1/2011

    " I liked this book. I don't why. Or maybe I do but I don't know how to express it. The relationship this woman has with her father is cool and well, who doesn't like spy books? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laurie | 11/10/2011

    " A memoir by this New York Times writer, Franks explores the history of her Dad's war experience for the first time as he's an old man approaching senility. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pat Tucker | 2/27/2011

    " I thought this was a very compelling book about a father/daughter relationship and what the daughter finds out about her father at the end of his life as he is diagnosed with Alzheimers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maryann | 2/12/2011

    " Not only interesting and informative,this memoir is honest and self-aware. L.Franks journeys to find her relationship with her father and finds history in the process. Well written, honestly told, and heart-breaking to know post-traumatic syndrome is not such a new concept for soldiers. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eden | 12/1/2010

    " Interesting. I learned a few things about World War II. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel | 7/9/2010

    " Interesting book about a daughter's quest for the truth about her Dad's past history and his life motives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 6/16/2010

    " We had a really good discussion on this book at our book club. It was a good read. Most of us felt that Lucinda was awfully pushy getting her father to divulge his secrets, but she is a journalist after all! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 4/28/2010

    " I was expecting a little more depth from the father; but it was interesting to see how the author continued to delve into his experiences. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee | 1/14/2010

    " I enjoyed this book. Forgiveness is healing. Knowledge of the past goes along way in helping a loved one to judge a little less harshly and to understand just what a life can endure. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellen | 11/30/2009

    " This is another book that should have been a magazine article. While the author is prying into her father's life to prove whether or not he was a spy during WWII, there were times I wanted to slap her and tell her to leave her father alone. It went on way too long. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christine | 9/6/2009

    " Interesting memior--some parts were a bit wordy, but it was interesting to see how WWII affected a soldier years later.... "

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About the Author

Lucinda Franks is the author of My Father’s Secret War: A Memoir, Wild Apples: A Novel, and Waiting Out a War: The Exile of John Picciano. She is also a journalist who was on the staff of the New York Times, and has written for the New Yorker, New York magazine, the Daily Beast and other publications. She has two children, five stepchildren, a little puffy white dog, and a couple of cats who come visiting.