Thursday, March 26, 2015

Letters to Ann: The Korean War, 1950-1951

John Francis Hughes was an Army doctor deployed to Korea during that conflict of the early 1950s. This book features the illustrated letters he wrote to his four-year-old daughter Ann. The letters and not particularly skilled drawings are charming, suggesting a warm relationship between father and daughter and a wonderful attempt to stay connected while serving overseas before the days of Skype (although Dr. Hughes did pester the poor child about wetting her pants to a degree a modern parent would find excessive).

The letters are interspersed with quotes from official Army reports on the conflict, historical accounts of the war, and Hughes' photographs taken in Korea. Taken together, these pieces provide some small insights into the Korean conflict (about which I find I know little), but the book is more a tribute to the family relationship than an educative text about the war (the editor is Dr. Hughes' daughter-in-law).

Letters to Ann reminds me of a Shutterfly book an overachiever would make for a family member. I enjoyed looking at it, but it didn't have the impact I thought it might.

Favorite passage
By the way, I got a new jacket and I won't let the rats get this one.

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