Sarah Sundin in her new book, "With Every Letter" Book One in the Wings of the Nightingale series published by Revell takes us into the lives of Mellie Blake and Tom MacGilliver.
From the back cover: They know everything about each other-except their real names.
Lt. Mellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. She is not looking forward to writing a letter to a man she's never met-even if it is anonymous and part of a morale-building program. Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the idea of an anonymous correspondence-he's been trying to escape his infamous name for years.
As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity. 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?
Combining a flair for romance with excellent research and attention to detail, Sarah Sundin vividly brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing-and true love.
I like history and, even though she won't admit it, I think Sarah Sundin is secretly a historian. It is her attention to details that help draw you into the story as well, of course, as her marvelous characters. Ms. Sundin makes you feel as though you are there in every battle, experiencing every life threatening moment and feeling intense relief when it is finished. Back to the characters, both Mellie Blake and Tom MacGilliver are presented in such a real manner that you feel as though they are friends of yours and when the book eventually ends you are sorry to see them go. "With Every Letter" is an exciting book. However, as exciting as the story is the romance between Mellie and Tom takes top priority as each of them deals with their individual issues. "With Every Letter" deals with themes of forgiveness and restoration as only God can produce. Ms. Sundin has done it again and I recommend this book highly. I am so looking forward to book two in this series.
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With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. 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 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
With Every Letter is the first book in her new Wings of the Nightingale series. While watching Shop Around the Corner, she began wondering what it would be like to fall in love through letters at a soul connection. As she noodled on that idea, With Every Letter was born. Mellie is a woman who's never quite fit in and as a result is a loner who can't form friendships. But her boss is requiring her to if she wants to become a flight nurse. Tom is also a loner because of his past. He puts on a sunny front, but in reality he doesn't let people close. Both long for someone who knows them deeply, and through anonymous letters feel the safety to open their hearts to another. Both Mellie and Tom are surrounded with characters who reinforce their fears and others who dig deeper past the walls they've erected. Both firmly believe that love will never be possible for them...but if it could be, it would be with their anonymous letter sender.
Sarah is a masterful writer who captures the time with breath-taking detail. The journey of these characters will pull you in and leave you rooting for them to rise above their beliefs of themselves and do what it takes to risk love. I highly recommend it for lovers of historical
Sundin has written another great novel of the WW II era. She has done her research and readers will learn a great deal about the campaign in northern Africa, the role of engineers, and the role of that new breed of women nurses aboard airplanes taking the injured away from the front.
What a great idea for a romance novel! Two people falling in love through anonymous letters. And the interaction between the two when their duty assignments allow them to be in the same place at the same time, yet each one not knowing the other is the anonymous letter writer (at least at first).
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. If you like historical novels that are well researched and have a realistic romance included, you will like this one. There are discussion questions at the end of the novel so it would make a good choice for a reading group.
Mellie is a feisty gal and stands up to those who would put down this new breed of nurses who want to help the injured right near the battlefield. And Tom, well Tom has lots he needs to work out. If only he could be as honest in person as he is in his anonymous letters.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
I haven't read a book by Sarah Sundin that I haven't liked. This story started out a bit slow, but I hung in there and was hooked about five chapters into the story. I loved the mystery of the letters and how they were able to be open with each other without fear, but at the same time the very thing they feared -- falling in love -- was inevitable. This was a sweet love story. I can easily see it as a movie, and while reading I could hear the author's unique voice in my head. Sundin always goes into depth with her characters and shows you the background behind their behavior. We are all products -- to an extent -- of our childhoods, and we all have our struggles to overcome. Some of us deal with these issues better than others, but we all have them.
The romance in this story was hard to pull off at first, but once my heart became engaged with the characters, I was excited when each new letter arrived as well. I loved how the author showed them overcoming areas of weakness and how God used their trials to make them stronger. I also loved how they each had a strength and a weakness that contrasted with the other person's, and how they were able to encourage each other as a result. The ending was thrilling to say the least. I was as excited as Tom was to discover the identity of his mystery woman.
This was a great love story, but it also had a lot of spiritual depth. I loved it when "Annie" told Tom to just imitate Jesus when he struggled with leadership. When he studied how Jesus dealt with issues I learned something too. What great advice! I think I'll take it and use it in my job as well. :)
The lost art of writing a letter is beautifully revealed through this book. Letters can reveal much about a person. You can even be more bold in a letter than you would normally be in person. Revealing so much about you and your heart is so much easier when you don't really know the person that you are writing to, either.
Tom and Mellie find themselves loving the company of each other---through letter, of course. There's a hitch to keeping this letter writing thing going, though. Neither of them know the other person's identity. Being a girl (which really isn't the reason), Mellie actually does find out Tom's identity much faster than he finds out hers. Mellie tries to decide whether or not to reveal her true self to Tom, but is convinced that if he were to see her less-than-attractive-face-to-her, then he would want nothing else to do with her. Truth is, she needs him and his letters to help process all that she's gone through and seen. She needs him to heal. And unknowingly, Tom needs his precious Mellie (or Annie, if you're going by pen pal names) for all of those same reasons. With two people who have such a past that leaves them struggling to fit in, will they be able to reveal themselves and continue on with the relationship staying the same?
I really enjoyed this book, as well as Sarah's other books. I love the historical tidbits that she puts in her books. You can tell that she's done some research and has knowledge about the time period in which she writes. She's a fairly new writer to me, as I was only first introduced to her a few years ago, but I have come to find that she is also a writer that I do and will continue to seek out when I'm looking for a good book to read. I have yet to be disappointed by her!
I received this book free from Revell Publishers and Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.