Morgan studied the flow of the cursive penned on the pages. The feminine loops and curls had managed to seep beauty into this masculine, war-plagued existence. But her words, her words were what truly moved him. Their kindness, their elegance. And all in a message he so desperately needed. In the aftermath of battle, it was too easy to forget that somewhere out there a compassionate world still existed. A world worth fighting for. A world waiting for their return. – from Letters from Home –
The year is 1944 and war is sweeping across Europe, forever changing the landscape and the people whose lives are touched by it. In America, three female roommates will be forever altered over the course of one year. Julia, a talented designer who longs only to be the best wife she can be to her fiance Christian, will find the choice between career and domesticity is not always clear cut. Betty, the sexy blond who belts out songs for USO events, will surprise everyone when she enrolls in the Women’s Army Corps. And Liz, engaged to her childhood sweetheart, will have to go back to her past in order to reconcile her future. When Betty asks Liz to ghostwrite a letter to a soldier name Morgan, events quickly spiral out of control for Liz as she and Morgan begin a correspondence that becomes progressively more romantic.
Kristina McMorris’s debut novel is a mix between historical fiction and romance. Inspired by the war time love story of her grandparents, McMorris has written a novel of three young women whose structured lives take unexpected turns due to romantic entanglements, misunderstandings, and the ever present unpredictability of war.
McMorris alternates points of view, moving between each of the main female characters as well as that of Morgan and his brother Charlie who are stationed in Belgium. I found myself especially connected to Morgan’s story. The war scenes were well written, realistic, and tension filled. Morgan struggles to deal with the horror of his every day life, clinging to the letters from Liz (which he thinks are written by Betty), while worrying about the safety of his younger brother.
Letters from Home is, at its heart, a love story. Each of the characters’ lives is touched by love in various ways. Betty’s external beauty makes it difficult for her to get past superficial romances and dare to expose her heart to a man. Julia’s romantic view of love threatens to thwart her own personal growth. Liz’s desire for security makes her fearful of taking a risk with a man who speaks to her heart, but is someone she has only known through their exchange of letters. For all three women, love will exact a cost as they are forced to make painful choices and suffer personal losses.
For those readers who love books in the romance genre, there is plenty of passion, fluttering hearts and romantic exchanges. If the plot is a bit predictable, McMorris makes up for that with well-developed and likable characters. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy the realistic battle scenes and accurate historical facts intertwined with fictional characters. Overall, a light and enjoyable read, Letters from Home will satisfy those readers looking for a story of hope and sacrifice in times of war.
FTC Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the author for review on my blog.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kristina McMorris resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their two sons. Her works of fiction have garnered more than twenty national literary awards and two nominations for the highly coveted Golden Heart®. She holds a B.S. in International Marketing with a language concentration from Pepperdine University. Having been saved as a newborn by Seattle Children’s Hospital, she is also an advocate of many charitable causes for children’s health and wellbeing. For her diverse accomplishments, she has been named one of Portland’s “Forty Under 40” by The Business Journal. Her self published cookbook, Grandma Jean’s Rainy Day Recipes, sold at such stores as Borders and was featured in a variety of regional media (with proceeds benefiting the Food Bank).
Letters from Home is McMorris’s first published novel. A portion of the sales proceeds will benefit United Through Reading®, a nonprofit organization that video records deployed U.S. military personnel reading bedtime stories for their children. To learn more about McMorris and her work, please visit the author’s website.
Win A Signed Copy of Letters from Home:
Thanks to the generosity of author Kristina McMorris, I am happy to offer one lucky reader of my blog a signed, trade paperback edition of this lovely debut novel.
- Contest is open to US and Canada mailing addresses.
- Please leave a comment on this post before 5:00 PM (PST) on March 7, 2011.You must tell me in your comment that you would like to be entered in the giveaway.
- I will pick ONE winner using Random.org and announce the winner on my blog on March 8th. I will also send an email to the winner.
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