Keggie Carew's father had more than his share of mysteries about him, and her compelling account of trying to fill in the blanks makes for a very satisfying, poignant, and humorous read. Tom Carew's extraordinary exploits during World War II include parachuting into France and Burma to lead resistance movements. Following years of estrangement during her father's marriage to a zealous, overprotective stepmother, Keggie's attempts to reacquaint herself with him take on complexity as he slips into dementia. In spite of all that remains unsolved, this kaleidoscopic view of a man of many parts is a triumph of biographical writing.— From John
Keggie Carew grew up in the gravitational field of an unorthodox father who lived on his wits and dazzling charm. For most of her adult life, Keggie was kept at arm's length from her father's personal history, but when she is invited to join him for the sixtieth anniversary of the Jedburghs--an elite special operations unit during World War II--a new door opens in their relationship. As dementia stakes a claim over his memory, Keggie embarks on a quest to unravel her father's story and soon finds herself in a far more consuming place than she had bargained for.
Tom Carew was a maverick, a left-handed stutterer, a law unto himself. As a Jedburgh he was parachuted behind enemy lines to raise guerrilla resistance first against the Germans in France, then against the Japanese in Southeast Asia, where he won the moniker "Lawrence of Burma." But his wartime exploits are only the beginning. Part family memoir, part energetic military history, Dadland takes us on a spellbinding journey, in peace and war, into surprising corners of twentieth-century politics, Keggie's rackety English childhood, the poignant breakdown of her family, the corridors of dementia, and beyond. As Keggie pieces her father--and herself--back together again, she celebrates the Technicolor life of an impossible, irresistible, unstoppable man.
About the Author
Keggie Carew has lived in London, West Cork, Barcelona, Texas, and New Zealand. Before writing, she made her career in contemporary art. She has studied English Literature at Goldsmiths University of London, run an alternative art space called JAGO, and opened a pop-up shop in London called theworldthewayiwantit. She lives near Salisbury, in the UK.