Following his mother's death, in 2004, Tyler Trafford discovers an album of old letters and creased photographs that reveal a mother he never knew, a man he's never heard of, and a love affair doomed by class and circumstance. The letters are from Jens Mller, a Norwegian pilot who trained in Canada during the early days of World War II, one of only three prisoners who would make it home after The Great Escape.
In Almost a Great Escape, Trafford takes us on a journey of emotional discovery and dramatic disclosure as he reconstructs his mother's life, from her youth as a wealthy Montreal debutante to her final days as a broken but unbent casualty of a loveless marriage. His search for answers takes him across Canada and then across the ocean to Norway, hoping to learn more about the mystery of this secret relationship.
Written with a fluidity fueled by heart-wrenching honesty, Trafford's unconventional memoir confirms that while you can survive your past, you can never escape from it.
Love letters stashed among papers he reads after his mother’s passing send Canadian journalist Tyler Trafford on a global journey of discovery that takes him, most importantly, deep into his own heart.
Mike Vendetti’s baritone hits the appropriately somber tone as a son learns of his Canadian debutante mother’s secret engagement to a Norwegian fighter pilot, one of the few to return home after the famous "Great Escape" from a Nazi POW camp. While his mother, victim to her own mother’s demons, was never able to become the writer she hoped or escape a loveless marriage, Trafford learns that what he experienced as rejection was instead his mother’s best effort to provide him freedom and happiness.
"The audio version of this touching memoir illustrates the point that hearing a story is a more personal and immediate experience than simply reading one. Narrator Mike Vendetti achieves this intimacy with his nuanced delivery of Trafford's extraordinary story of star-crossed lovers...Vendetti's blending of brisk narration with softer introspective passages gives all the personalities distinctive voices while also delivering the emotional depth of this son's moving tribute to his beloved mother." (AudioFile)
Winner of 2013 AudioFile Earphones Award
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A mesmerizing account of consequences
You'll not learn much about the Great Escape, but.