I inherited a history. As a young child, I was given an account of my past, of my parents’ families and their traditional upper middle class British background. As a young adult, with the surfacing of unexplained events, I began to progressively question the elements of that neat little packaged history. My disbelief of the so-called facts grew and grew until finding the truth became one of the driving forces of my life, and led me to begin a voyage of discovery that would last for nearly 30 years.
Whatever Remains is a true story. The fall of Singapore is considered one of Britain’s worst defeats of the Second World War. For Penny Graham’s father, however, it became a life-changing opportunity to shed once and for all of the shackles of a family he no longer wanted. From 1942 onwards her parents would carry passports that gave them backgrounds that had nothing to do with reality.
In 2010, a recognised Australian author claimed that her father and mother were involved in espionage for the British Government before, during and after World War 2. Although he worked in Australian naval intelligence during the war, there is no evidence whatsoever that he was an M16 spy. He clearly had his own motives for the change of identity and he used his background as a veil.
Penny Graham spent most of her adult life unravelling the truth about her family history. Her journey took her around the world twice, on many twists and turns, false leads and dead ends as she discovers how her father managed to hoodwink so many people in his long and complex life. Whatever Remains is a beautifully written story about solving mysteries, conquering adversity and ultimately finding where you belong in the world. It’s a slice of history worth telling.
“Whatever Remains, is one of the most extraordinary books based on historical research it has been my pleasure to read.” Dr Peter Stanley