Writers’ Group Member Publishes New Book

Frances I. Kirkham

Fly, Butterfly, Fly! The Fictionalized Memoir of a Child of the World, was recently released by Hourglass Publications in honor of the Month of the Military Child, which is celebrated in April. SaddleBrooke Ranch resident Frances I. Kirkham (Fran) chronicles her teen years as the daughter of a U.S. Naval officer born into the military just before the end of WWII.

Fran tells her readers, “Growing up military is the single most beneficent gift my parents ever gave me. The lifestyle is in my blood where I expect it will stay for the remainder of my life. I’ll always miss it.” In a well-paced, readable style, she illuminates the rewards, demands, and sacrifices of the military family lifestyle while taking readers on a journey far beyond America’s shores. At its heart, her book is a love story as revealing and relevant today as when it unfolded for her decades ago.

The day after her 13th birthday, Anna Margaret Preston and her family sailed for Japan. Curious and a keen observer of the world around her, she befriended people whose lives, customs, and culture only remotely resembled her own. As a young ambassador for America, she absorbed lessons unavailable in a textbook or school classroom and fell in love with Japan and her people.

At 16 and a high school senior, Anna and her family relocated to an isolated South Pacific island—Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. Bloody fighting had occurred there toward the end of WWII to wrest the Marshalls from the Japanese. When Anna moved there in 1961, she encountered the remnants of a broken culture with a long and sordid history of invasion, war, and foreign control. Issues of ethics and morality took on a new level of meaning and importance for her.

Fran joined the SaddleBrooke Ranch Writers’ Group six years ago, where she met a group of like-minded, talented, and caring fellow writers. Generous with their praise, astute, and targeted with their criticism, they helped her capture the essence of the times and events portrayed in her book with the right tenor and tone. They share in the creation of Fly, Butterfly, Fly!

In its experiential approach to the military family experience, the book complements the deeply researched seminal work about military families and children, Military Brats, Legacies of Childhood Inside the Fortress. Its author, Mary Edwards Wertsch, reviewed Fly, Butterfly, Fly! and highly recommended it. Her comments appear on the back cover.

The book is now available on Amazon.com in both ebook and paperback editions.