Monday, September 19, 2011

Breaking the Code: A Daughter's Journey into Her Father's Secret War by Karen Fisher-Alaniz

On his 81st birthday, without explanation, Karen Alaniz's father placed two weathered notebooks on her lap. Inside were more than 400 pages of letters he'd written to his parents during WWII. She began reading them, and the more she read, the more she discovered about the man she never knew and the secret role he played in WWII.
They began to meet for lunch every week, for her to ask him questions, and him to provide the answers. And with painful memories now at the forefront of his thoughts, her father began to suffer, making their meetings as much about healing as discovery. Thus began an unintended journey—one taken by a father and daughter who thought they knew each other—as they became newly bound in ways that transcended age and time.

Breaking the Code is a wonderful true story of a daughter’s quest to transcribe WWII letters written by her father.   What started out as a gift to her children, became a journey of learning, healing, self-discovery, bonding and understanding.
 I enjoyed this book immensely. It was told in first person by Karen, the daughter of Murray Fisher. She speaks in a no-nonsense way that keeps you turning the pages. The book contains Murray’s letters, postcards, photos, and some official documents. For war and history buffs, this is a rare look into the daily life of a Navy solider during the war.
 I found the places, activities and Fisher’s job(s) during the war to be very interesting.  Karen Fisher-Alaniz offers us a rare glimpse into a very special, humble man and his struggle to deal with the memories.  Breaking the Code was an emotional journey, and I found myself laughing and crying.  I recommend this to all.
This would make the perfect holiday gift for anyone on your list.

I want to thank netGalley and Sourcebooks for this ARC, in exchange for my unbiased review.

I gave this book 3 coffee cups out of 5.

 to purchase: B&N
 author's website: Karen Fisher-Alaniz

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At September 19, 2011 at 2:04 PM , Blogger Buzz_B said...

This sounds like a lovely book. As someone who's great-grandad was in the royal navy during WWII I wish I had even just some writings of his (and I'm sure my grandad, his son, does to). I will definitely keep an eye out for this, thanks for the review/heads up that this is out there.

At September 20, 2011 at 4:43 PM , Blogger Jenn said...

Great review! Got your email from book blogs and now following!
Need any help, fell free to contact me!

At September 20, 2011 at 5:02 PM , Blogger Stacey Donaldson said...

Sounds like a very thought provoking read. What a gift it must have been for Karen to meet a part of her father that she may never have known otherwise.

I'm a new follower from book blogs. Seems like you're off to an awesome start! Great review!!

Stacey @

At September 21, 2011 at 3:43 AM , Blogger Megan said...

Hi Kimba,

Your blog looks great!

I saw your comment and Book Blogs and have started to follow you.

I'd love it if you could also check my blog out at



At September 22, 2011 at 6:55 PM , Blogger Fairday Morrow said...

This book sounds fabulous- I love books that are written about this era and this book sounds very interesting. I like how you wrote the review- you made me want to read the book, but didn't give anything away!

I found you through Book Blogs and signed up to follow you. When you have a chance- please stop by and follow the blog for my middle grade novel that I am hoping to get published.
Also, my co-author, Stephanie, liked your fb page today. Please like us back at:

Take care-
Jess- although I may show up as Fairday, the main character from my novel. I can't figure out how to fix it. :)

At September 22, 2011 at 8:09 PM , Blogger kimba88 said...

Thanks for all the positive comments. I try not to give to much of the story away in my reviews. I hate spoilers..they are for chat rooms and group boards. I am following all of you. Your blogs are wonderful!

At September 28, 2011 at 10:29 AM , Blogger Karen Fisher-Alaniz said...

Thanks again for the nice review! It's nice to hear what a "real person" thinks. The book will be out in about a month and it's a bit of a nerve-wracking time; nothing more I can do as far as the writing/editing/revising goes. Now I just have to wait for my "baby" to be born. Anyway - Thank you! ~Karen


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