We respectfully caution Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers that this website contains images of people who have passed away.Close
LONGLISTED, 2023 STELLA PRIZE
Born an only child in North Queensland, Jack Huggins had an idyllic childhood in Ayr, where his family somehow escaped the harsh Queensland government treatment of First Nations’ peoples. His father was in the army in World War I and Jack followed in his footsteps into World War II. He was captured by the Japanese in Singapore and spent much of the war on the notorious Burma-Thailand railway.
The narrative and personal reflections give insight into love, loss and the need to understand one man’s journey, as seen through the eyes of his children seeking to learn more. It is an affectionate portrait and a moving account of courage in wartime which helps a reader understand the sacrifices made by our soldiers.
"This biography is a touching account of one man’s struggles in wartime and an important reminder of the underappreciated contribution made by Indigenous Australians not only to Australian society, but to the freedom of the modern world."
– Writing WA
“…great story of courage and survival.”
– Gregory Dobbs, Good Reading
"Ultimately, Jack of Hearts is accessible, a quick but incredibly important and insightful read, one that I recommend to all, on ANZAC day and beyond."
– Little Black Duck Books
"...a remarkable story and worthwhile contribution to Australia’s war history genre."
– Cheryl Akle, The Australian
"Jack of Hearts draws attention to crucial yet underexamined aspects of Australian history and asks important questions."
– Linda Jaivin, The Saturday Paper
"Jack Huggins...died far too young in the service of his country, leaving his family bereft. His daughters have given him the tribute he deserves. Read this book."
– Michael McKernan, The Canberra Times