My Faraway Home: An American Family's WWII Tale of Adventure and Survival in the Jungles of the Philippines

My Faraway Home: An American Family's WWII Tale of Adventure and Survival in the Jungles of the Philippines

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by Mary McKay Maynard
     
 

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When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and simultaneously attacked the Philippines, eight-year-old Mary McKay, her parents, and several other American families working on Mindanao fled into the jungle for what they thought would be a short evacuation until they could be rescued by the Navy. Their wait lasted two years.My Faraway Home is the fascinating story of how

Overview


When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and simultaneously attacked the Philippines, eight-year-old Mary McKay, her parents, and several other American families working on Mindanao fled into the jungle for what they thought would be a short evacuation until they could be rescued by the Navy. Their wait lasted two years.My Faraway Home is the fascinating story of how they survived. The refugees encountered typhoons, fires, and cobras; they lived on dwindling stores of canned food, traded with Filipino villagers who wouldn't betray their hideout, and learned to improvise their own shoes (from rubber tires), soap (from pig fat), and other necessities. Into this upside-down world of anxious waiting and frayed tempers came occasional simple joys-a Fourth of July feast, nighttime card games, a pet goldfish in a glass jar - as the refugees tried to create "normal" life in the jungle.Like The Diary of Anne Frank or Empire of the Sun, My Faraway Home gives a fresh perspective on war through a child's eyes. (6 x 9, 288 pages, b&w photos)Mary McKay Maynard is a painter and freelance writer.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A welcome perspective on a far-flung corner of the war."
--Publishers Weekly

"Charming, transporting... skillfully captured in a voice at once dazzled with innocence and composed in its maturity, Maynard's memoir is an elegant little time-traveler."
--Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A charming, transporting story of an altogether horrifying event—the Japanese invasion and occupation of the Philippines during WWII—as seen through the fresh eyes of a young girl who survived the experience. Maynard's father was the manager of a gold mine (the Mindanao Mother Lode) in the Philippines when the Japanese overran the islands in 1942. The family fled to a more remote gold mining camp to await developments, and spent the next two years there, with occasional dashes into the jungle to avoid Japanese patrols. Maynard recounts those days as she experienced them as an eight-year-old, a new life infinitely more fascinating than her old one, in which danger lurked but never overwhelmed her curiosity or carefree spirit, coming to know her hideaway home "as only a child an know a place, and I loved it." On the other hand, she includes excerpts from her mother's diary for a touch of balance: "I try not to waken in the night because that's when worries become unmanageable," or the stark "I'm filled with terror." Her father is a stiff and chilly individual; given charge of the retreat camp, "he quickly became unpopular and was regarded as a rigid authoritarian." Fortunately, he does not dominate Maynard's days, which are told here with an easy confidence. Hers had been a privileged life before the invasion (upon learning the servants would not be going with them, she wondered "who'll wash our clothes and who'll cook for us and polish the floors?") but she easily adjusted, rapt in her new world of civets and snakes, guerrilla warfare, insects that look like vegetables, overeager boyfriends, new Filipino friends, and, surely, the submarine ride away to safety. Skillfullycaptured in a voice at once dazzled with innocence and composed in its maturity, Maynard's memoir is an elegant little time-traveler.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585747238
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
09/28/2002
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.38(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.89(d)

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My Faraway Home: An American Family's WWII Tale of Adventure and Survival in the Jungles of the Philippines 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderful! You see a family's trial of hiding in the jungle in the Phillipines and the Japanese occupation through the eyes of an 8-year-old girl. It's a fascinating adventure -- I couldn't put it down!