Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Review: Letters from Home

By Melissa Amster

Back in the 1940's, Internet was not available and people had to rely on the postal system for correspondence. This made letters between soldiers and the people they cared about take months at a time. However, the relationships that can be fostered through online communication nowadays were still fostered through handwritten letters. This is made apparent in "Letters from Home" by Kristina McMorris.

At a USO dance, Liz Stephens meets Morgan McClain. He's being shipped off to war the next day and she is in a serious relationship with her childhood sweetheart. That doesn't keep her from being attracted to Morgan though. When she sees him dancing with her best friend, Betty, later that evening, she feels it is a sign to stay away from Morgan. However, Betty asks Liz to write a letter to him (as Betty) while he is overseas and she takes on the challenge. Soon Morgan is corresponding with a woman he believes is "Betty," while the real Betty is someplace else. Will Liz ever be able to reveal her true self?

I really liked this novel from start to finish. If I had more time available to read, I would have devoured it in a week (or even less). I thought it was nice that the story was told in different perspectives. While it was obviously going to be about Liz and Morgan, we also got to hear from Betty and Julia (a friend of Liz and Betty). The use of description helped me visualize what was happening, but it wasn't too overwhelming either. It didn't detract from the thoughts and dialogue, but still set the scene. It was apparent that she did a lot of research about that time period before writing this story. I also like how Ms. McMorris got inside a man's head. I almost forgot a woman was writing this story when I read Morgan's "voice," as well as the dialogue between him and the other men. She also tossed in some twists to the story that kept me guessing all the way to the end.

The only critique I have is that I didn't feel like Ms. McMorris tied up Julia and Betty's romantic story lines. I felt like there could have been more, but was just left hanging. Perhaps she'll give them their own books in the future? She did tie things up for them in other ways, but maybe I was looking for something else for them, as well.

Overall, this was a wonderful story. It had all the elements of chick lit, but set in a different time period. I love that Ms. McMorris based this off a story from her own family. It gives off even more of a meaningful feel and makes me wish I had documented how my grandparents met before most of them passed on. (It has also inspired me to talk to my only living grandparent more often.) I highly recommend "Letters from Home" to anyone who wants a sweet romantic story and an interesting history lesson.

1 comment:

Donna said...

This sounds like a great book. I will have to check it out! Thanks for posting your review.