Book Review: Breaking the Code by Karen Fisher-Alaniz

December 10, 2012

Breaking the Code: A Father’s Secret, A Daughter’s Journey and the Question That Changed Everything by Karen Fisher-Alaniz is a non-fictionbook which tells about the author’s research into her father’s service in World War II.

The publisher is giving away one print copy US address or one eCopy any e-mail address, enter using the Rafflecopter at the end of the post.

  • 336 pages
  • Publisher:Sourcebooks
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1402261128

Book Review Breaking the Code by Karen Fisher-Alaniz

My rat­ing forBreaking the Code4

Buy this book inpaperorelec­tronicformat*

Check out this & more World War II books onMan of la BookStore

As followers of this blog Know, I love reading about World War II and especially memoirs of the “Greatest Generation” who, unfortunately is leaving us by the thousands each week. Many of those dying have amazing stories which will forever be untold, projects like Speilberg’s “Survivors of the Shoah Visual History ” are extremely important not only for for the children of the “Greatest Generation” but also for future historians and for a better world. Which is why, when I was offered to join the tour for Breaking the Code by Karen Fisher-Alaniz (website |Facebook) I jumped at the opportunity – I was not disappointed.

The book is much more than a memoir, it is a heartfelt tribute to a man who has been struggling with demons his whole life, yet became a productive member of society, bringing up proud future generations by setting example of an exemplary life. Ms. Fisher-Alaniz discusses in the book how she never listened to her father’s stories growing up, something I believe we are all guilty of. When she received the letters he wrote his parents, the basis of this book, she regretted blowing off those stories, but a teenager’s mind is still a mystery to science and humanity.

Mr. Fisher, the author’s father, was a codebreaker and under constant surveillance with a threat of death hanging over his head if he talked too much. The pressure and responsibility were huge for the young man. Other events (which I will not spoil) caused Mr. Fisher to come back with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a trauma which has been recorded for centuries but only recently has been acknowledged and studied. A product of a by-gone era, Mr. Fisher’s reluctance to get help only hurt him and with the revelation of the letters and his daughter’s investigation his past came back to haunt him.

A Father’s Secret is a fast read, some of the multitude of letters Mr. Fisher wrote during World War II from Hawaii, Okinawan, Iwo Jima and more are in the book. Each chapter includes a letter with the author’s story intertwinded within.

I have read many memoirs and family stories, Breaking the Code stands out from the rest due mainly to the story it’s telling. Many of the books are written for family members – and that’s great – but for those of us who didn’t know the subject they do not stand on their own. This book however, does. There is an engaging story, likable characters, a timeline, good editing, and background which makes this book personal and touching to everyone who reads it.

On his 81st birthday Murray Fisher gave his daughter the letters he wrote his parents while serving in the US Navy in World War II. When sorting through the letters his daughter, Karen Fisher-Alaniz the author, uncovered her father’s past while learning about the lingering trauma that bugged the man who brought her up.

Buy this book inpaperorelec­tronicformat*

Check out this & more World War II books onMan of la BookStore


  • Give­away ends: December 17, 2012

  • US Ship­ping Addresses Only For Printed Copy

  • No PO Boxes

  • Win­ners will have 24 hours to write back with their address, oth­er­wise an alter­nate win­ner will be picked

Congratulations: nicnac63@

Zohar – Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read Breaking the Code? If so link up your review below:

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  • Andrew T. KuligowskiDecember 10, 2012 at 9:01 am

    A good review – it talks not just about the content but about the structure. All reviewers need to include this kind of stuff in their work, and all memoir writers should read this review before starting work. Every morning, if that’s what it takes!

    • Zohar - Man of la BookDecember 13, 2012 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks Andrew. I’m still not happy with my reviews but I appreciate your kind words.

  • Sharon HenningDecember 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    I also like WWII literature. This sounds like a very good read. I’m glad you said it was a fast read. Many memoirs aren’t.

  • NovelChatterDecember 11, 2012 at 11:28 am

    Your review makes me wish I had not passed over this one, it sounds like an interesting and compelling read. I’m so behind now, but because of your review, I’m adding it to the “stack of books” under my desk. Thanks so much!

  • C.E. HartDecember 13, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Been away for awhile–so busy during the holidays. Glad to be back. Great review!

  • Karen Fisher-AlanizDecember 17, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Thanks so much for reviewing my book! You have a very nice way of reviewing/writing, without giving too much away too. My best to you and your readers! ~Karen

  • John MunroeDecember 17, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    I lived with Murray for years and never knew any of this. Odd. Come to think of it, neither of us talked about our war service.

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