Goodness, I think it's the first time this happens to me. JUST finished With Every Letter and boy a few days ago, I didn't believe that I would even be writing a positive review about it. I didn't believe that I would finish it.
Let me give you not the not so good part, then we'll get to the good one.
I really did not like the book at first sight. In fact I remember being on p. 120 and deciding to just forget about it all.
1) Things were moving at a REALLY slow pace. Too slow, in my opinion.
2) It's been a while since I studied WW2 so I was a bit confused about a lot of the historical facts. I have a general knowledge of the War, but I believe that for this book a more in-depth knowledge is required. Not to mention that the unfamiliar military language and context added to my confusion. (The author did her research well though!)
3) The characters frustrated me! Too self-conscious with VERY low self-esteem. They were the kind that you'd want to shake and say 'Come on! Don't think of yourself that way, you're worth more! Mellie was too shy to the point that I found her to be a bit childish at some points and Tom just would not take matters into his hands as the leader of his platoon and would just keep smiling, when clearly, his men were lazy and people were telling him that things were just not right. I understood their reasons for acting the way they were but I was still frustrated.
HOWEVER. I started to flip through the pages and I realized that there were some surprising twists coming up. So I skimmed and skipped some parts, read the ones the ones that I found interesting- and they were many from that point on.. I was glued in! There was drama, humour, and the characters started to come alive and I found myself so eager to know how the story ended.
It was good! It was really good.
The characters matured and evolved and things started to change. Mellie almost left me with the impression that she was a bit selfish... right until she changed her mind before, ahem, the meeting. ( Don't want to giveaway anything.) Faith flowed easily and beautifully in the story and be still my heart the romance was SO lovely!!
I'm so glad to be giving this four stars. My first read from Sarah Sundin and I'm curious about the next one in this series.
I really love Sundin's books. They're all set during World War II and the best description I can come up with to describe them is "the greatest generation." They're great stories, but it also feels like I'm reading a tribute to the amazing men and women and the brave sacrifices they made to give us the gift of freedom that we enjoy today.
When I read Sarah's first book, A Distant Melody, I considered it one of the best books I had ever read. But she just keeps getting better! Readers who pick up With Every Letter with high expectations will not be disappointed. The characters are unique and well-developed. Both the hero and heroine start out with huge obstacles that threaten to interfere not just with romance, but with their ability to relate to the rest of the world, for the rest of their lives. The stakes are high personally, but also in terms of their contributions to the war effort. Both of them are in positions to save or lose many lives. The research for this novel alone is mind-boggling, as I discovered as I was whisked all over northern Africa. With Every Letter is another home run for Sarah Sundin. If you are interested in World War 2 history, you simply must read this tale. It's sure to satisfy lovers of historical fiction and historical romance everywhere.
I eagerly anticipated the arrival of Sarah Sundin's new book, With Every Letter and it was well worth the wait! Mrs. Sundin takes the reader back to World War II with such detail that I finished the book with a clearer understanding of what went on during that time. The author takes time to do her research, it is quite clear that history is a passion for Mrs. Sundin.
With Every Letter is Book One in the Wings of the Nightingale series and introduces the reader to Lt. Mellie Blake and Lt. Tom MacGilliver. Both characters have some deep hurts to overcome and do so by leaning on each other (anonymously mind you). Their deep commitment to God and how He helps them through so much is explored.
Well done! Can't wait for Book Two!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
Sarah Sundin writes the best WWII dramas of any I've read!
Two outcasts connect through anonymous letters filled with encouragement and friendship in the midst of WWII.
Ms. Sundin writes a historical novel that has it all, emotion, well researched history, and friendship.
I was surprised with how much I connected with the characters, especially Mellie. She struggled to connect with people, and people often mistook her shy awkwardness for conceit and aloofness. In her character I saw myself. I guess I just really liked Mellie, because she was so much like me, and she wasn't a blond-haired, blue-eyed girl, but had a different ethnic backround.
With this book I wasn't sure at first if I would be drawn in, because the main characters don't meet till much later in the book. But I truly felt that they were able to connect through their letters to each other. And I ended up loving the plot!
The characters grew in so many ways, and they had to take leaps of faith and go outside of their comfort zones. Both of the characters had to fight to not let what other people thought of them to define them, and I was cheering for both of them the whole way through! Many of the side characters surprised me and I loved this touching story of friendship.
The historical details are very precise and I can tell that Ms. Sundin put alot of work into the researching of this book.
Overall there wasn't anything that I didn't love about With Every Letter, there were so many little details that Ms. Sundin brought together beautifully, and some were very poignant. And I just loved both Mellie and Tom and how they faced their struggles in a very realistic way, and how they grew in their faith. With Every Letter is a well woven tale of love and friendship, and I highly recommend it!
"Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thank you!