Chicago, 1944. Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn't need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she's set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz glimpses Morgan McClain. They share only a brief exchange--cut short by the soldier's evident interest in Betty--but Liz can't forget him. Thus, when Betty asks her to ghostwrite a letter to Morgan, stationed overseas, Liz reluctantly agrees.
Thousands of miles away, Morgan struggles to adjust to the brutality of war. His letters from "Betty" are a comfort, their soul-baring correspondence a revelation to them both. While Liz is torn by her feelings for a man who doesn't know her true identity, Betty and Julia each become immersed in their own romantic entanglements. And as the war draws to a close, all three will face heart-wrenching choices, painful losses, and the bittersweet joy of new beginnings.
Beautifully rendered and deeply moving, Letters from Home is a story of hope and connection, of sacrifices made in love and war--and the chance encounters that change us forever.
★★ I received this book for free from either the author, publisher or tour coordinator in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ★★
Liz Stephens is at a crossroad in her life. She has been in a relationship with her childhood friend, Dalton Harris. For the most part, Liz is content in this relationship. During a chance meeting at a USO dance, Liz meets Morgan McClain an enlisted soldier who will be shipped off to war the next morning. In that brief moment in time, Liz feels such a strong connection with Morgan that will shake her up and make her question her relationship and all that she knows. A misunderstanding leads her to believe that Morgan’s affection lies elsewhere.
Morgan and his brother Charlie are shipping off to war the next morning. Morgan has been looking out for Charlie his whole life. Charlie wanted to enlist and go off to war. Morgan also enlists and finds a way for them to be in the same unit so he could keep an eye out for his younger brother. On their last night before they are shipped off, Morgan meets and feels a huge connection with Liz. Before he could get her last name and find out more about her, Liz departs to clean up after a drunk soldier spills a drink down the side of her dress. Morgan loses sight of her while helping a damsel in distress.
Betty Cordell is trying to find her way in this world. She is beautiful and has the curves in all the right places. She’s not as book smart as her roommates, but she’s a fighter. Betty is singing at this dance and has captivated many of the soldiers there that night. She is rescued by Morgan when a drunk soldier doesn’t take no for an answer. Betty is searching for Mr. Right and thinks she might have found it in Morgan.
Julia Renard has a decision to make. She’s been offered a prestigious internship at Vogue. She would love to jump at this chance but she loves her fiance Christian more. Julia decides her time would be better spent at home as a wife when Christian returns from the war. Julia is confident in her decision and continues to plan her wedding. An encounter with Christian’s older brother Ian will leave her questioning her path.
Each friend will take her own path leading her on a journey that will change her life.
Where to start? Let me start by telling you how I discovered this book. I was stalking the Rhapsody Book Club site and saw this book in their coming soon section. I saw the cover and fell in love with it. Yes, it doesn’t have any eye candy (my normally visually appealing senses can appreciate non eye candy covers every once in awhile it happens..lol) but the combination of the letters and flower evoked an emotion in me. What emotion I couldn’t tell you, but I knew I needed to find out more about this book. I read the synopsis and was sold. I checked out Kristina’s website and totally fell in love. It’s like stepping back into days gone by. I found out Kristina was a new author and this was a debut book. Stalked Kristina and told her I wanted to pimp her book and get her on my blog. I took a chance with an author I’ve never read before and a genre (Women’s Fiction) that I’m picky about and rarely read, but something in my gut told me that I was going to like this book. Let me tell you, that I love it when my gut is right! 🙂
Kristina has written a captivating novel that will take you on a journey from the home front of America during WWII to the middle of the battlefields fought across the seas! With her poetic writing and descriptive words you will feel as if you’ve stepped right into the 1940’s during an era that was dominated by an ugly war! Kristina wonderfully wove three different stories into one book seamlessly. The journey that each lady, Elizabeth, Betty, and Julia takes was written in a way that I was equally interested and eager to find out their fates.
The letters that are exchanged between Liz and Morgan, two people who spent just a moment together one night, conveyed their journey beautifully from strangers to soul mates. Julia’s decision to give up her dreams to be a wonderful wife to her fiance fighting in the war will leave you heartbroken. Betty’s road to discovering her place in the world and meeting the one man she think could be the one in the Pacific will keep you turning the pages. The moments with Morgan, his baby bro Charlie and their fellow soldiers will provide laughter, tears, hope and the realities of war.
This book worked in every way for me. The characters were all developed and layered nicely to give me the reader a sense of who they are at the beginning and who they become by the end of the book. Not one moment while reading this book did I feel bored. I was engrossed from the beginning until the final pages. My only complaint which really isn’t a complaint is the fact that I wanted more after the last page. I didn’t want the book to end. I did not want to leave these characters behind.
So if you can’t tell…I loved this book. No sexing and I still loved it! 🙂 I would highly recommend this book. If you love stories during the 1940’s with three romances with different outcomes, beautiful letters, friendship, war and laughter, this is the book for you.
★★ Book was read in February 2011. I own my own personal eBook and paperback copy. ★★