Pub date: April 2, 2013
Rights: Canada and Australia, French and English
Winner, 2014 City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize
Winner, 2014 Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction
Winner, 2014 Alberta Readers' Choice Award
“I cannot promise you anything Alice except I will always love you and I will come back for you after the war.”
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 Müller, 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.
Almost a Great Escape includes photographs as well as excerpts and reproductions of telegrams and letters Jens sent from England and Stalag Luft III.
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