Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book Review: With Every Letter

With Every Letter. Sarah Sundin. 2012. Revell. 432 pages.

With Every Letter may be one of my favorite reads of the year!!! I was not expecting to love this historical romance as much as I did, but, it had me almost from the start, and it left me giddy!!! It was a just-right, near-perfect romance for me set in one of my favorite historical periods, World War II.

With Every Letter is told in alternating chapters. Readers meet Lt. Mellie Blake, a nurse, and Lt. Tom MacGilliver, a pilot. The two agree to correspond with one another anonymously, choosing not to reveal their real names or addresses. Each has their own reason for wanting to keep some things private.

While I definitely loved both Tom and Mellie, I think I loved Mellie the most. Mellie is a great nurse, devoted to her work, to her patients. And she loves God with passion and commitment. But if Mellie has a weakness, it is that she's never had the opportunity to truly socialize with others and make friends. She's shy, awkward, unsure of herself, of what to say, of what to do. She's definitely afraid of being rejected and laughed at. She'd love to have friends, but she doesn't know how to get there. She doesn't have a problem expressing herself on paper, and, she truly does want to have a friend. So "Ernest" the nickname of her pen pal offers her the chance to be herself and to make a connection. (Tom's nickname for Mellie is Annie.)

Tom has a problem as well, a problem with being authentic. Because of who his father was, because of his father's crime, he's come to be associated with a nasty, cruel rhyme. People hear his last name, and they know, they make a connection. Tom puts on a happy face all the time. If there is anyone around, he'll be wearing that oh-so-shallow happy face. He doesn't know how to be himself, how to be honest, how to be vulnerable. He has to be the cheerful buddy, the first and last to laugh. But with Annie, well, he can be true to himself and share things that he'd never, ever say aloud to anyone. He may be surrounded by people, but he knows what it's like to feel desperately alone.

As the correspondence develops, readers get a chance to connect with both Mellie and Tom and learn more about their lives, about the men and women they work with, about the war around them. It's a compelling, emotional read.

I loved this one!!!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Sarah Sundin said...

Becky - thank you so much for the lovely review! I'm thrilled that you liked Tom & Mellie and their story so much.