With Every Letter
September 1, 2012
About the Book . . .
In With Every Letter, readers meet Lt. Mellie Blake who is looking forward to her training as a flight nurse. What she’s not as enthusiastic about is writing a letter to a man she’s never met as a part of a morale-building program, even if it is anonymous. The recipient of Mellie’s letters is Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa. Tom welcomes the idea of anonymous correspondence, especially since he’s been trying to escape his infamous name and family history for years.
With every letter written back and forth across the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie get to know one another and develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other’s true identity. Each has always felt uncomfortable in his/her own skin, but the letters allow them to shed some of their insecurities. However, when both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face-to-face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts?
In addition to the war raging around them, both Tom and Mellie face the inward battle of learning to see themselves as God sees them and grow into the people God wants them to be. Mellie has always seen herself as merciful as she cares for the sick and wounded, but the brutal events surrounding her stretch her understanding of mercy. Both Tom and Mellie also learn new depths of the true meaning of forgiveness.
Sarah Sundin is the author of "A Distant Melody", "A Memory Between Us", and "Blue Skies Tomorrow". In 2011, "A Memory Between Us" was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children.
Reader Review . . .
It's 1942, and the United States has joined the War. Patriotism is at an all-time high, and there is a group of nurses who are eager to become the first flight nurses for the U. S. Army Air Force. Philomela Blake is one of the nurses who are being trained to assist in air evacuation. When Lieutenant Newman, the chief nurse, announces a new morale-building program, she requires full participation; that means even Philomela. The program is an anonymous pen pal program between her nurses and the officers in her husband's unit. Philomela agrees reluctantly, knowing that she has never known how to befriend others. As their correspondence ensues, the question is whether the resulting friendship and growing love will withstand a face-to-face meeting, or if it was destined to only be an anonymous courtship.
First, I will admit that I'm compulsively drawn to WWII-era stories like this. There was no question of whether or not I would read and review this book. Ms. Sundin has done an excellent job of portraying the era and locales. She researched the history of the flight nurses extensively, and it shows in her writing. The characters were interesting, and the story kept me hooked. While the ending was predictable, I still had to know HOW it happened. My only criticism, and I hesitate to use that word, is that the characters' personalities and problems were a bit overdone. Philomela was socially inept to the point of being unbelievable, and to think that everyone seemed to know the horrible secret of Tom's family was a bit of a reach. But it's not enough of a problem to ruin the story, so disregard my complaining, and read the book. It's that good.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the Litfuse Publicity Group<http://www.litfusegroup.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”