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Alice Connally Fisk

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The Diary of Alice Mary
by Alice Connally Fisk  Nnoe 

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Category: 

Memoir

Publisher:  1st Books ISBN-10:  1410798860 Type: 
Pages: 

399

Copyright:  2003
Non-Fiction

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True story of the World War II homefront years as captured in a personal diary of that era.

This book comprises the factual accounts from the Diary that my Troy, NY, firefighter Father, Joe Connally, kept on me from the time I was born in 1938 until the late 1940's -- all during the years of World War II. It's predominantly about the year 1944 and my Father records our lives with poignancy and beauty during that sorrowful year just after we had lost my lovely young Mother to pneumonia on New Year's Eve, December 31, 1943. To me it is a sweeping story of truly timeless love and unwaverable faith.
 
All Diary entries, whether made by my Father, my Mother before she crossed over, or my Aunt Florence, have been typed in italics throughout. It covers the true account of the daily life of a motherless American-Irish child in small town America during the years of World War II with references in the Diary to Pearl Harbor, blackouts, gas rationing, orders from the draft board, the names of the great radio programs and movies of the day, standing room only at the theater, induction parties and farewell turkey dinners, dancing to the Victrola, swimming at Saratoga Lake, planting victory gardens, saying daily prayers, attending Sunday Mass and Holy Days of Obligation, church rituals, cemetery visits, attending funerals for fallen firefighters killed in the line of duty, praying for the boys overseas, particularly those taking part in the invasion, etc. In general it was about life, death, church, prayer, school, work, play, family, friends, relatives, classmates, neighbors, neighborhood. 
 
The book is also somewhat interspersed throughout with anecdotes relative to my own remembrances of family members whenever and wherever they are written about in the Diary, and also goes on to include stories about my father in subsequent years up to the time of his death.
 
The Diary about me is overall about faith, courage and trust in a loving God and -- to me at least -- it is above all else about the rich tapestry of the transcendent love that existed in life and still exists today in another timeless dimension between my parents. The Diary also references the countless times as a 5-year-old I was heartsick for my Mother to come back home to me and to be with me again, and as my Father outlines my own loss so poignantly in the Diary, I know from firsthand experience how the young children who lost a parent on September 11th feel. For even though my Mother's death was not anywhere near as spectacular as the horrendous World Trade Center event, as a child living in the early 1940's without my ever having witnessed the perpetual scenarios of death in all its forms as shown on TV today, I had little, if any, comprehension of it and no grief counseling whatsoever. But somehow herself went on with the everyday business of life after death anyway as hopefully, with faith and trust, will today's children. 
"And thus the heart will break, yet brokenly live on."

-- Byron

 
Excerpt
The old worn Diary sat in assorted boxes in different clothes closets and in diverse dresser drawers of mine in the various villages in New York State in which I lived – Lansingburgh, Green Island, Melrose -- for well over 50 years. Its cover was of mottled red leather and its gold leaf inscription humbly proclaimed: STANDARD DIARY FOR ANY YEAR. Its pages were well read and well worn and a few even had random streaks of crayon going through them from some semi-creative childish endeavor of mine of long ago. Indeed, the Diary had banged around for what seemed like forever. First at my parents home and then at my maternal grandparent’s home in Lansingburgh. Then, after I married it was buried with my old mementos in a box in a closet in the Village of Green Island where my husband and I lived as newlyweds and where our three children – Alison, Jimmy and Carrie -- were born during the first six years of our marriage. After that it resided either on my closet shelf or in one of my dresser drawers in our home in the Village of Melrose for over 35 years. I was always going to do something with that Diary..but didn’t know exactly what. Ultimately, when I was nearly 64 years old, I finally discerned, with what I believe was some prodding from the other side, exactly what I was meant to do with it..

“Many things are growing plain and clear to my understanding.”
-- Last words of Fredrich Schiller


Professional Reviews

A Daughter's Tribute to her Father's Love to be shared with your family by Tyrone V. Banks of Betsy's Literary Page
5.0 out of 5 stars A daughter's tribute to her father?s love to be shared with, April 16, 2004
By Tyrone V. Banks (Newington, CT USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: The Diary of Alice Mary: A Factual Childhood Diary Written During the World War II Years by Joe Connally for His Young Motherless Child With Quotations Throughout This Book (Paperback)
Reviewed by: Tyrone Banks of Betsie's Literary Page
Highly Recommended
5 out of 5 points

A daughter's tribute to her father's love to be shared with your family.

Joe Connally kept a diary in which he faithfully recorded the daily activities of his young daughter, Alice Mary. Joe lost his wife and Alice Mary lost her mother on December 31,1943. During this time, although surrounded by family, Joe and Alice Mary shared a special bond that was created by Alice Sr.'s untimely death. This diary chronicles the daily events as they unfolded during the World War II era as seen through Joe's eyes and Alice Mary's memories.

This book is definitely a touching tribute to the love between a parent and their offspring. As I read through the pages I felt as if I lived during that era and experienced the turmoil and tranquility firsthand. I could see a lot of my daughter's characteristics in the young Alice Mary and this book touched my soul in a special way.

Alice Mary has paid tribute to her father and she has created something that will live on forever in print. The diary entries are separated by quotes, anecdotes and even the last words of famous personalities. It is a very entertaining and smooth read that you will definitely enjoy. The plot is just as uncertain as life itself and as you read the pages you experience the spontaneous emotions and feelings that have always been a part of human life, but from a unique standpoint.

What I take from this book is this. Love your loved ones and cherish them as if they will be gone tomorrow. No one's time on earth is promised and each moment is a precious entry in the diary that chronicles your life experiences. I commend the author for committing this work to print and I thank her for sharing this personal experience with us. Help other customers find the most helpful reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!!, February 5, 2004
By A Customer

This review is from: The Diary of Alice Mary: A Factual Childhood Diary Written During the World War II Years by Joe Connally for His Young Motherless Child With Quotations Throughout This Book (Paperback)
This is such a good book. I sat down and started to read, not intending to finish it right away. Well I got through the first few pages and I was so interrested I couldn't put it down! This book will make you laugh, cry and feel as though you could have been there, at that point in time. I recommend this to anyone who loves a good read and is interrested in the stories of real people living in the past!


Amazon Customer Review
February 5, 2004
By A Customer

This review is from: The Diary of Alice Mary: A Factual Childhood Diary Written During the World War II Years by Joe Connally for His Young Motherless Child With Quotations Throughout This Book (Paperback)
This is such a good book. I sat down and started to read, not intending to finish it right away. Well I got through the first few pages and I was so interrested I couldn't put it down! This book will make you laugh, cry and feel as though you could have been there, at that point in time. I recommend this to anyone who loves a good read and is interrested in the stories of real people living in the past!



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