(Arrow Books Ltd, 1999) - death of an absent father

Anna Blundy's honest account of her personal experience of losing her father. Buy on Amazon

On 17th November 1989 Anna Blundy received a phone call to say that her father, David Blundy, a foreign correspondent, had been shot reporting the war in El Salvador. In a way it was the phone call she had been expecting all her life. Every time they said goodbye, she knew he might not return. Eight years later, in April 1997, Anna went to El Salvador to try to discover the truth about his death, and finally, after a decade of mourning, to come to terms with her loss. During her trip Anna, now a journalist herself, revisits her childhood and the world she and her father inhabited. Memories of the succession of lonely hotel bedrooms in exotic locations, the painful goodbyes, and the midnight phone calls sometimes punctuated by the sound of gunfire. Every time she turned on the TV she imagined news of his death in some dusty foreign war. This is also an honest insight into the relationship between father and daughter - her fear of not fulfilling his expectations; of being supplanted by a new girlfriend or by the birth of a younger sister; of how her world collapsed the day when he died. This is a sharp but beautifully written account interweaving humour and bittersweet recollection.