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Dear Grandpa, Why?

Reflections from Kokoda to Hiroshima

John L. Read

Dear Grandpa, Why?
'Dear Grandpa, why?' is a question that has been asked many times over, by descendants of those who have died in war. John L. Read, however, has placed his energy into actually seeking an answer to his own question. - Hon. Sir Eric Neal, AC, CVO

Edward Tompson Mobsby, father of twin baby girls, volunteered for war service and was shot down by the Japanese in New Guinea in 1942. John Read's quest for an apology for the death of his grandfather took him and his family from suburban Australia to a startling discovery in the mighty Owen Stanley Ranges, and on to Hiroshima.

John learned about Miyuki, a Japanese woman who had also taken her mother to New Guinea to answer questions about her grandfather's death. When they eventually met in Osaka, their long conversations brought understanding, reconciliation and, almost, forgiveness. And, critically, revealed the value of cross-cultural dialogue in helping spare future generations from the despair and waste of international conflict.

Praise for Dear Grandpa, Why?
'This is a most unusual book but an insistently interesting one ... This book’s strongest virtue is in Read’s wrestling with the past and his initial desire for accountability over the death of his grandfather, giving way to something akin to forgiveness ... An important addition to how Australia commemorates its war dead.' - Christopher Bantick, Weekly Times

'This compelling book is written from the heart, and easily draws the reader in on the journey with Read seeking answers about his grandfather's sacrifice. I recommend it to all readers, but particularly students of World War II. It provides a personal entry-point for understanding the events that led to the war in the Pacific and raises many questions about what causes war and what we should do in the future to prevent such terrible loss and waste of life.' - Helen Eddy, Read Plus

'Lovely and heart-warming story.' - Nic Klaassen, Flinders Ranges Research

'This story is engagingly told and leads the reader to reflect about families, war, cross-cultural connections and understanding, at a personal as well as a national level.' - Elizabeth Hambly, Bibliofile

'John L. Read's odyssey provides a historical insight into the cause of the war against Japan and a graphic portrayal of the cultural grief experienced by families who lost loved ones.' - Charlie Lynn, Kokoda Treks

John L. Read lives with his wife and young family on Eyre Peninsula, on the largest private nature reserve in South Australia. He is a passionate ecologist and spends most of his working and relaxing hours researching animals from deadly taipan snakes to critically endangered mammals and working with traditional landowners.
Format Paperback
Size 210 x 140 mm
ISBN 9781743055762
Extent 192 pages
Price: AU$24.95 including GST
Quantity Out of stock