In the midst of World War II, a Midwestern infantryman falls deeply in love through a yearlong letter exchange, unaware that the girl he’s writing to is not the one replying. Woven around this tenuous thread are three female friends whose journeys toward independence take unexpected turns as a result of romance, tragedy, and deception, their repercussions heightened by an era of the unknown.
Inspired by a true account, 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.
My high school has a collection of letters written from soldiers to one of the teachers at the school during world war two. We used to read a few every year on Remembrance Day and it always tugged at my heart to imagine where the letters were written and how they were replied to, so when the opportunity to review Letters From Home, I knew that this was a book that I absolutely wanted to read.
The story revolves around three roommates - Liz, Betty and Julia, who at the outset of the book, have their plans firmly made for where they expect their lives to go.Betty is the beautiful USO singer who starts corresponding with Morgan, a soldier that she and Liz met before he shipped out. Liz is the writer with aspirations to become a literature professor who starts to help her friend craft the letters and becomes increasingly involved with Morgan, whom she felt an attraction to from that first night at the dance. Julia is engaged to a soldier and has been offered an internship with Vogue. When the war and chance encounters change things, and them, the book takes us on a journey through the highs and lows of this turbulent time.
I love how each decision made has both conscious and unconscious consequences for all of the characters. I also love that there are some 'uncharacteristic' surprises! This book inspires a variety of emotions and reactions, as you root for the characters and feel their pain and joy, despair and triumph.
World War II was a fascinating time, and there was so much going on in the world, both at war and at home. This book, once the scene is set, does an excellent job of portraying the characters as real people with emotions and goals. McMorris is also very good at giving you a glimpse inside what it must have been like on both the Western front and in the Pacific You really get to know each character's strengths, flaws and personality as they jump off the page. I was drawn into their world and found this book really hard to put down and come back to the 21st century.
I rooted for the Betty, Liz and Julia and my only complaint is that I would have loved to see more closure to all of the stories - there is only resolution for one character ... I think there is more story to tell (maybe a sequel???)
I was shocked to find out that this was Kristina McMorris' debut novel. I highly recommend this book if you like a good emotional read, and it's a must read if you like historical fiction and World War II and I would put McMorris on your watch list for future reads too!
About Kristina McMorris
Kristina McMorris lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Her foray into fiction began in the fall of 2006 as a result of interviewing her grandmother for the biographical section of a self-published cookbook intended as a holiday gift for the family. Inspired by her grandparents’ wartime courtship, Kristina penned her first novel, a WWII love story titled Letters from Home. This award-winning debut is scheduled for release in trade paperback from Kensington Books (2-22-11; U.S.) and Avon/HarperCollins (5-5-11; U.K.). The condensed book rights have been sold to Reader’s Digest, and the film rights are represented by the prestigious Creative Artists Agency of Los Angeles.
Prior to her literary career, Kristina acted in numerous independent films and major motion pictures. She began hosting an Emmy-award winning television show at age nine, and most recently served as the six-year host of the WB’s weekly program Weddings Portland Style. Adding to her diverse résumé, McMorris is a professional emcee, literary workshop presenter, and former owner of a wedding/event planning business. Her previous writing background includes being a contributing writer for Portland Bride & Groom magazine and ten years of directing public relations for an international conglomerate. A portion of Kristina’s sales proceeds from Letters from Home will benefit United Through Reading®, a nonprofit organization that video records deployed U.S. military personnel reading bedtime stories for their children. She is currently working on her next novel.
You can read an excerpt of Letters From Home at her Pump Up Your Book tour page and you can purchase the book at major retailers and of course at amazon.com where it is only $9.09!
You can also win your copy of her book here on Acting Balanced!