Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I'll Be Seeing You: A Novel In Letters by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan

Two women become pen pals during World War 2 and their friendship sustains them through all of life's defining moments.

Glory lives in Rockport, Massachusetts.  Rita lives in Iowa City, Iowa.  Glory is a young mother--a young son named Robbie, and a newborn baby girl named Corrine.  Her husband is off fighting the war in Europe.  

Rita lies in Iowa City, Iowa.  She's in her early 40's has one son--Toby, and her husband, Sal.  Both Toby and Sal are off fighting the war.  

Each woman finds herself writing a total stranger, in order to connect with someone else who has a loved one overseas.  As you read through the letters, they quickly become fast friends, and share details of their lives with each other.  Their deepening friendship gives them both an opportunity to confess to emotions they don't dare express to anyone else.  Once you get into this story, it's hard to put down.  You become as much a part of the friendship as Glory and Rita.  

It's refreshing to remember that people did rely on letters as a major means of communication.  Neither of these women know each other any other way but through their letters.  No phone calls, no emails, no facebook.  It's a reminder that sometimes a letter can be better than anything else.  Their excitement at receiving a letter in the mail from each other is such a sweet part of the novel. What begins as a simple pen pal idea quickly forms into a strong and life-long friendship.  Oh, stuff happens.  I won't tell you what, cause you need to read this novel.  You'll laugh, and shed a few tears.  The cast of characters surrounding both women add to the sense of family--those who aren't related, but become family through circumstance, heartbreak, and happiness.

This is a great summer read!  And it will have you buying stationery (if you don't have some already) and penning a letter to a far away friend.  

Rating:  7/10.  The authors do a wonderful job of creating memorable characters who are funny, flawed, and tough women.  The letter format makes this novel--it wouldn't have been the same any other way.  

Available in paperback and ebook.  

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