The Magical Stranger by Stephen Rodrick
A Son's Journey into His Father's Life

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Finding closure with his father’s death, he could finally acknowledge the quietly heroic role of his mother...Candid and affecting.
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Synopsis

The Magical Stranger is a moving story of love and sacrifice, fathers and sons, heroism and duty, soldiers and the families they leave behind.

On November 28, 1979, squadron commander and Navy pilot Peter Rodrick died when his plane crashed in the Indian Ocean, leaving behind a devastated wife, two daughters, and a 13-year-old son.

In this powerful, beautifully written book, journalist Stephen Rodrick explores the life and death of the man who indelibly shaped his life, even as he remained a mystery. Through adolescence and into adulthood, Stephen Rodrick struggled to fully grasp the reality of his father’s death and its permanence.

To better understand his father, Rodrick turned to members of his father’s former squadron, the "World-Famous Black Ravens." As he learns about his father, he uncovers the layers of these sailors’ lives: their loves, friendships, dreams, disappointments—and the consequences of their choices on those they leave behind. The journey doesn’t end until November 28, 2013, when Rodrick’s first son is born 34 years to the day after his father’s mishap.

A penetrating, thoughtful blend of memoir and reportage, The Magical Stranger is a moving reflection on the meaning of military service and the power of a father’s legacy.

 

About Stephen Rodrick

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Stephen Rodrick is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine and also a contributing editor at Men's Journal. His writing has been anthologized in The Best American Sports Writing, The Best American Crime Reporting, and The Best American Political Writing. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published May 14, 2013 by Harper. 515 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships, War, History, Health, Fitness & Dieting. Non-fiction
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on Mar 31 2013

Finding closure with his father’s death, he could finally acknowledge the quietly heroic role of his mother...Candid and affecting.

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GeeWhy 19 Sep 2013

Rated the book as 4.5 out of 5

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