Book Signing – 2/12/11

In her new book, daughter chronicles her father’s months as a POW

A book signing by author Candy Kyler Brown will take place at Main Street Mercantile on Saturday, February 12, from10:30AM to 2:00PM. In her book, “What I Never Told You: A Daughter Traces the Wartime Imprisonment of Her Father”, Brown collects and tells her father’s personal account of being a prisoner of war in World War II.

Though Brown’s father, John Kyler, an Army Air Force B-17 ball turret gunner who served during World War II, died without ever setting his experiences in book form, Brown was able to piece together the events of his heroic, terrifying ordeal through the personal journals her father kept during his captivity.

“I was in awe,” remembers Brown upon finding the handwritten notebooks. “It took me back in time, and I could imagine so clearly my father as a young boy and picture him, his freedom lost, sketching these pages from his “home” behind barbed wire. I thought of all the boys who were held captive by the German guards and how they must have feared that every day could be their last.”

Brown’s father was shot down February 4, 1944 while on a mission to Frankfurt, Germany. As their damaged ship lost altitude over Belgium, he and the other crew members were forced to bail from their crippled bomber. On the ground, he was quickly taken prisoner. John Kyler would remain a prisoner for 15 months.

“It never felt comfortable to ask about that time in his life that he had put behind him,” Brown says. “I believe that men like my father – men who had witnessed so many life changing events – felt both lucky and guilty to survive when many of their comrades did not. I remember months before his death I told him he should write a book, and I would be his secretary and help him record his memories. He responded, ‘What’s there to write about?’, and that was it.” Brown’s father would pass away suddenly soon thereafter.

With What I Never Told You, Brown has shared not only her father’s story, but also the countless other stories untold by soldiers who are unwilling or unable to speak of their traumatic experiences. An engrossing read, What I Never Told You tells the war stories that go missing from history books. These are personal odes, each page alive with curiosity, fear, panic, frustration and an unbreakable optimism. The story has been told by John Kyler the only way he was able tell it – after his death and through the strong connection between a father and daughter and without a spoken word. It’s a read not to be missed.

Author Marilyn Jeffers Walton (Rhapsody In Junk) states that What I Never Told You “is the first book I have read of this kind that is told in first person from your dad’s perspective, which was a really novel approach no one else has thought of. And what has resulted is a beautifully haunting piece that engages the reader immediately.”

Candy Kyler Brown, the third eldest of five children, was born and raised in Salamanca, N.Y. and was always close to her father, John R. Kyler, a World War II veteran. She learned very little from her father about his wartime experiences. After his death in 2004, Brown spent the next six years retracing her father’s full wartime history, from his enlistment in N.Y. to his airbase in England. She followed his movements in Belgium, Lithuania, Germany and Poland. With painstaking effort, she compiled her father’s background information and met many of the people who had played a large part in her father’s survival. She resides in Kill Buck, NY, with husband, Brad.

The books are available at Main Street Mercantile in both hard and soft-cover versions. Don’t miss the opportunity to have your book signed by the author.