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.
There are so many things I could relate to in this book. You know how when you listen to a song and it can take you to a place you haven't thought of in years? This book had that affect on me.
For me there was so much depth to this story. The resistance the nurses faced by being women on the field, having to get along with those in your division, the orders you had to obey, the fight for position and rank - I don't understand why anyone would want to go into the service, but admire those who do and am very grateful for those who have literally gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. My grandfather was a pilot during World War II. I am grateful he made it back alive and I had the privilege of knowing him.
Back to the book...
The main character Lieutenant Mellie considers herself different and finds it hard to make friends with the other nurses she's around every day. I just think she found it hard to trust people after what her mother did to her and her father. There have been things in my life that have caused me to be very UNtrusting.
Friendships are a huge part of life and many of the characters in With Every Letter Written learn that intimate relationships open the heart to hurt, but the key to maintaining those close relationships is mercy, love, forgiveness and restoration. If you are like me some of those steps are harder than others, even when you know the right thing to do.
Mellie is given the opportunity to pen-pal with a service man stationed overseas whose name is Lt. Tom MacGillver. After initially baulking at the idea, she begins her correspondence which turns out to be just what she and the service man needed. My husband and I got to know each other the same way. Reading Mellie and Tom's story brought a wide range of emotions and memories back. It's hard to get to know someone via letters, UNLESS both people are completely open and honest. I loved their story and didn't feel it was a stretch of the imagination for the time setting of the storyline or for today because I believe long distance relationships can and do work, if both people believe in the relationship and commit to it. Definitely not for the needy or fainthearted as it does take a lot of time and work. Just as if you were together in person.
I loved the ending. While I had predicted what the ultimate outcome would be I loved the clever way it happened.
Two thumbs up for a heartwarming, emotionally evoking book that made me fall in love with Mellie, Tom and their friends. I loved their characters, grit and courage in the face of many different obstacles, including a war. It's so hard when a good book ends....sniff, sniff.
<em>Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.</em>
Some of my most favorite and memorable movies are the old classic black and white movies starring Jimmy Stewart, and one of them is The Shop Around The Corner. It set the precedent for the newer movie, You've Got Mail and also the premise and background for Sarah Sundin's latest novel, With Every Letter. This is the first in the Wings of the Nightingale Series and being a huge fan of WWII fiction novels, I knew I wanted to read this one.
The book introduces us to two very different but similar characters. The first is Lt. Philomela "Mellie" Blake who we meet as a nurse at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center carrying for her patients while awaiting a response to become a flight nurse for the upcoming Air Evacuation Group that was forming in Bowman Field in Kentucky. When the Army Air Force announced plans to train nurses to assist in air evacuation, Mellie had begged the chief for a recommendation. Flight nurses would fly into combat areas, load the wounded, and care for them in the air. They would be stationed all over the world, and she hoped even in the Pacific, close to her Papa, who went missing when the Japanese conquered the Philippines a few months earlier and she doesn't know his fate, but believes he is still alive.
Yet the biggest challenge facing Mellie is her lack of social skills in making friends. She can work magic caring for the patients she oversees but forming any long, lasting connection, is near to impossible for her. When she is asked by chief nurse to participate in a letter writing campaign to boost morale and encourage the men serving in the armed forces, she is more than fearful. If she can't maintain relationships with men or women, how can she possible participate in this. But with encouragement from her chief nurse, she willingly agrees and finds that perhaps she might be on her way to something that might open doors for her to finally make friends.
Lt. Thomas MacGilliver Jr is the lucky recipient of Mellie's attempt at friendship through the letter writing campaign and they both have been asked not to reveal any details or names but to keep the letter writing as professional and encouraging on both ends as possible. Thomas is made aware that the letter writers are flight nurses and that is about as personal to her identity that Mellie and Thomas can be. What he finds is a fellow soul mate that speaks the same language she does. He, too, has a difficult time making friends and finds that aside from leading a platoon of men into war, that is about as far as his relationships go as well. He also has a dark past that he is trying to escape from and with Mellie's help, he may finally put his ghosts from his past to rest once and for all. So he finds a true friend through his letter writing with Mellie and that is the true treasure of this book.
It shows how much a letter from someone can really encourage one another through the hardships and trials of war. What may start as a friendship may lead to something more as Mellie and Tom get to know one another without revealing too much and find a love that goes beyond mere words on a page. It's taking the movie premise of letter writing to a completely different and timeless level in this wonderful book and what happens along the way is worth reading this historical novel. I can't wait for the next book in this series. I received this novel, With Every Letter, compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and have to say this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. For those of you that love a great historical romance set in the midst of WW2, then you will truly LOVE this novel!
This reader is delighted that there is a new series Wings of the Nightingale coming from Christian Historical Fiction author Sarah Sundin. I still hold that A Distant Melody might be one of my favorite books ever and with all that I read, this is a really saying something - so bringing on a new series, I couldn't be more delighted and excited to see what I might find within the pages of such a novel and over the top, I was not disappointed. I knew, before I knew anything else, through a conversation with Sarah that this was going to be a war times You've Got Mail/The Shop Around the Corner story, but different and that's exactly what it was. I'd love to see *this* one as a film!
With Every Letter did not grip me from the first page, because I found myself to be very unsure about Mellie, our heroine. However, as she learned to truly love and accept herself, I realized myself to grow to love her as well and with the type of story that this was that is a perfect reader/novel relationship. Tom our hero is a great character as well. This story is more about the people than the setting, and while it is interesting it was the content of the letters and emotions that I wanted more of and was granted within these pages.
Giving plenty of laugh-out-loud, quit-it-I'm-going-to-cry, and down right cannot turn the pages fast enough or even would someone please watch my children so that I can just go read and see what happens nextâ€” this was a read that I definitely did not want to miss and it was a completely delightful one a that. I'm not surprised to find myself loving it and as I finish the pages what I do find myself is devastated that I will have to wait so long for more Wings of the Nightingale series. Honestly, I want to know more about Kay_
I haven't read one book by Sarah Sundin I haven't enjoyed. There was one that had a minor part I didn't care for but overall her books are really interesting and well written. With Every Letter was no different!
This book centers around Mellie and Tom. Mellie is a nurse and Tom is an engineer. Their relationship starts with just writing anonymous letters to each other and then blossoms into something way more. There is some intrigue in this as you wonder how quickly Mellie is going to make friends and if she can keep her job. Tom is such a sweetheart who can't see that many people don't care about his past and that what his father did once was not who he really was.
There was a part in this book that really made me think. Another soldier is a foreigner and many of the other comrades pick on him because of this. It all comes to a head and Tom steps in. But what he tells them is what made me pay attention. This soldier picking on a fellow American wants to get rid of him. And Tom tells him that he wants a country then where no one is different. He then turns it around and points to Hitler and Germany. At that point the other man sees what he is actually doing and stops the fight. This really caught my attention and I loved how Sarah put this in here.
There were two statements I didn't think needed to be in here but they were something minor I can skip over. Overall an excellent book I have already loaned out and will re-read many times over. You have to understand I am not a big fan of WWII books and don't read many. But Sarah's books are all on my shelf! Keep em coming, Sarah!!
Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
I received a copy of this book for my review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.