French Letters Children of a Good War, winner of Foreword Review’s 2018 gold medal for military and war fiction of the year, is the crown jewel in Jack Woodville London’s French Letters Trilogy. These novels of the United States in the second half of the twentieth century are written through the eyes of the Hastings family, their friends, their enemies, and their secrets. They portray a nation that was unified in World War II and prosperous in the years that followed, but gave way to bitter division over the Vietnam War and the struggle to find the nation’s soul by the generation that forgot its history and took its wealth, status, and privilege for granted.
Briefly, forty years after World War II, Eleanor Hastings already had learned that bombs can lie buried for decades before blowing up to hurt someone. Now it has happened again as a hidden cache of faded wartime letters is discovered in a cellar and reveal that Eleanor's husband, Frank was a bastard who his father had brought back from the war in France, sending Frank on a quest to find out who he really is -- and to uncover his family's long-buried secrets.
"Children of a Good War is like a giant puzzle you think you've solved, then find more unsettling pieces. Intelligent and engrossing, hard to put down, London's best novel to date lingers in your thoughts long after you close it and turn out the lights."
— Author Joyce Faulkner, winner of the Howard-Johnson Prize for Historical Fiction
Best Novel of the Year -- Military Writers Society of America
Best Novel of the South -- Willie Morris, Finalist
Best Novel with a Romantic Element -- Dear Author, Finalist
About the Author
He studied the craft of fiction at the Academy of Fiction, St. Céré, France and at Oxford University. He was the first Author of the Year of the Military Writers Society of America and has become its Director of Writing Education.
His French Letters trilogy of novels are Virginia's War, Engaged in War, and Children of a Good War. They are widely praised for their portrayals of America in the 1940s, both at home and in Europe in the Second World War, and afterward as America evolved from its wartime unity into progress and prosperity. Children of a Good War goes on to portray a country that soon gives way to bitter division over the Vietnam war and the struggle to find its soul by the generation that forgot its history and took its wealth, status, and privilege for granted.
In addition to the 2018 Gold Medal for Children of a Good War the first novel, Virginia's War, was a Finalist for Best Novel of the South and the Dear Author 'Novel with a Romantic Element' contest. The second volume, Engaged in War, earned for Jack the Author of the Year award and won the silver medal for general fiction at the London Book Festival.
His craft book, A Novel Approach, a short and light-hearted work on the conventions of writing, is designed to help writers who are setting out on the path to write their first book. A Novel Approach won the E-Lit Gold Medal for non-fiction in 2015. Jack also is the author of several published articles on the craft of writing and on early 20th century history.
His work in progress is Shades of the Deep Blue Sea, a mystery-adventure novel about two sailors and a girl, set on a Pacific island in World War II.
Jack lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Alice. Visit him at jwlbooks.com