On November 28, 1979, squadron commander and Navy pilot Peter Rodrick died when his plane crashed in the Indian Ocean, leaving behind a family that included his thirteen-year-old son, Stephen. In The Magical Stranger, Stephen Rodrick explores the life and death of the man who indelibly shaped his life, even as he remained a mystery: brilliant but unknowable, sacred but absent, a born leader who gave his son little direction.
To better understand his father and his own experience growing up without him, Rodrick spent nearly two years with his father's former squadron. As he learns more about his father, he also un-covers the layers of these sailors' lives: their brides and girlfriends, friendships, dreams, disappointments and the consequences of their choices on those they leave behind.
A penetrating, thoughtful blend of memoir and reportage, The Magical Stranger is a moving reflection on the meaning of service and the power of a father's legacy.