Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: With Every Letter

Author: Sarah Sundin
Publication Date: September 2012
Publisher: Revell
Series: Wings of a Nightingale # 1

As part of a World War II morale-building program, flight nurse Lt. Mellie Blake begins an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, they develop a deep friendship. But when they're both transferred to Algeria, will their future be held hostage by the past---or will they reveal their identities?

This book is set during WWII and that aspect wins me over every time. I am always curious to read stories that are set during huge historical happenings like various wars, epidemics, etc. just to see if an author can successfully write through that and allow the characters to take on the identity and the mindset that someone would have had during that time in the past. I love historical fiction and that genre will always be an absolute must for me. Plus the woman on the front cover looks strong and any woman serving in WWII whether she be a nurse or just supporting the cause my growing a victory garden has won my heart already!!


Lt. Mellie Blake is serving as a flight nurse and loves her job and the compassion that she feels for her patients. Her only wish is that she had more friends or even a more normal lifestyle. Her mother died when she was young and she spent most of her life traveling all over the world with her father and never making any lasting friendships. Her life is in need of a positive change and she receives that and so much more when she is approached by a head nurse and asked to participate in a letter writing experience in which she will serve as an anonymous pen pal to a soldier overseas.


Once Mellie and Tom started to writing letters back and forth to one another I knew that I had fallen in love with each of their characters. I loved Tom because he was so modest, yet sounded unbelievable handsome. He had such a loving and understanding personality. The men that served on his battalion looked up to him and admired him. There was a mutual respect between him and most of the men who answered to him. This was shocking for me to discover because most Lieutenants are harsh and some even abuse the title given to them. Tom was different. He was in the shadow of his father who served before him, and whom I do not gather many people liked very much. His father had the reputation of a mean and gruff man, and I can see Tom’s character trying to change that.


Tom and Mellie are both good for one another. They are both at points in their lives where they feel somewhat lost and alone. They both do not feel like they fit in. Mellie has a hard time reaching out and meeting new people, while Tom, even though he is extremely well-liked, has a hard time forming lasting relationship with others. Through their anonymous letters it is clear to the reader that two brand new characters are being developed. The letters allow Mellie and Tom to completely be themselves and open up in a way that they have never really done with an individual before. I looked forward to reading each new letter as they appeared on the pages.


The reality of the war-time circumstances that Mellie and Tom were in became more apparent towards the middle and end of the book; the situations were made realistic by the actions of each character. The book highlights specific instances when both Tom and Mellie’s expertise are needed in order pull off exquisite plans and actions; therefore, exemplifying the brave and intuitive nature of each one to make the best decisions for everyone. I loved reading what was happening around both of them as they were usually in different countries. Sundin recaptures a very moving and touching war experience through each character and gives anyone with an appreciation for history a closer glance inside it.


This was a book that can be expressed beyond the words that I have written here. Anyone could find some sort of connection with this book if you have ever felt alone or the sense of rejection. Therefore, I strongly encourage you to look into Mellie and Tom’s adventures and see if you think you have what it takes to replace either one of them on the front lines!


Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.


***Thank you to the publishers at Revell for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes***

1 comment:

  1. Chelsey - thank you so much for the "charming" review :) I'm glad you enjoyed Tom & Mellie's story.