My Faraway Home by Mary McKay Maynard
An American Family's WWII Tale of Adventure and Survival in the Jungles of the Philippines

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Here is a beautifully written, courageous memoir of a wartime childhood behind enemy lines.

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 loyal 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, a birthday party, a pet goldfish in a glass jar.

Mary Maynard also describes their escape on a submarine dodging enemy torpedoes, and recounts how her teen-aged brother, away in boarding school when the Japanese invaded, survived a prison camp and the bombing of Manila.

Like the classics The Diary of Anne Frank or Empire of the Sun, My Faraway Home gives a fresh perspective on war through a child's eyes. It is also a luminous coming-of-age story that captures the universal experience of a child's attempt to decipher the adult world.


About Mary McKay Maynard

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Mary McKay Maynard is a painter & freelance writer. In recent years she has attended meetings of other WWII Philippines survivors, such as the American guerillas her family knew & the submarines who rescued her, & shared her story with them. She & her husband have three adult children & live in Westport, Connecticut.
Published July 1, 2001 by The Lyons Press. 275 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War. Non-fiction

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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 ...

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The way the light shimmers on the water during one of their races to a new camp, the way the Filipino children play games with her despite the world of difference of their experiences, the way her mother painstakingly recorded her barest emotions in a diary that forms the backbone of this book --...

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of My Faraway Home: An American ...

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