With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
10.26.12 | | Comments
With Every Letter tells the story of an anonymous pen pal correspondence between two Army Lieutenants in World War II. When the correspondence begins, Lt. Philomela “Mellie” Blake is serving as a nurse at Walter Reed General Hospital, but she’s about to begin the adventure of her life. She’s been chosen as part of a select group which will train and then serve as flight nurses, evacuating the injured from the war front to hospitals. Lt. Tom McGilliver is an engineer stationed in North Africa. As the story begins, both Tom and Mellie are loners, each having survived a lonely and difficult childhood using their individual coping methods. The anonymity of the pen pal relationship provides each of them with a necessary and safe friendship; neither of them expects to ever reveal who they are or to meet each other.
I enjoyed the characters, storyline and the history portrayed in With Every Letter. While the author may have included more technical data than I was at first prepared to absorb, it provided a realistic backdrop for the account of lives under pressure, developing friendships, bullying, frustration with both situations and people, and more. To the whine of incoming enemy fire, peaceable Tom learns to be the leader he’s been appointed to be, while Mellie learns how to let others into her world and function as part of the team, and both learn to love the unknown recipient of their letters.
To many of us, World War II evokes a picture of planes attacking Pearl Harbor, the landing craft reaching the shores of Normandy, and Hitler’s atrocities. With Every Letter paints another picture, of the brave women who pioneered the idea of working at the warfront, and the engineers who built air strips day after day, only to see them blown apart night after night, or who were called upon to blow up good U.S. equipment as they moved on to another base point. The men and women who served weren’t romanticized; their human frailties were accurately detailed, but their efforts heroically helped to save lives and eventually, a war. Kudos to Sarah Sundin for crafting such an absorbing and educational story.
I will look forward to reading other books in the “Wings of the Nightingale” series.
(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my fair and honest review.)
Christian Fiction, Copyright September 2012, ISBN 978-0-8007-2081-0