Letters From Home – Book Review & Giveaway

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.

Other blog reviews of this book:

Have YOU reviewed this book? If so, drop me a link to your review in the comments and I’ll link you up here!


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.

Good luck!!

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  1. I would love to be entered. What a great giveaway and the book looks great!!!

  2. This sounds good, as long as it’s not too heavy on the romance. No need to enter me.

    • Darcy Odden on March 1, 2011 at 05:21

    This sounds like a great read. Please enter me in the giveaway.

  3. Though I often read historical fiction, I tend to shy away from historical romance. Your review has me reconsidering though, so I would love the chance to read this book. The 40’s were such an interesting time! Please do enter me in your giveaway!

    • rhonda on March 1, 2011 at 06:21

    would love to read this.Please enter my name in the giveaway!

  4. hm, I think I would really like this book. I will join the give-away, but if I don’t win I will be seeing if my library will get a copy for sure!

    • ellie on March 1, 2011 at 08:45

    I am fascinated with this unique and compelling story. Thanks for entering me for this giveaway.

    • Linda B on March 1, 2011 at 09:39

    I enjoy novels set in this era. Please enter me in the giveaway, and thanks.

  5. I would love a chance to win a copy of this book. I think it sounds good as I love books that incorporate letters into the story. Thanks for the chance to win it.


    • Sandy Jay on March 1, 2011 at 13:52

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    • Tiffany D. on March 1, 2011 at 17:40

    Please count me in for this giveaway. I have seen this book around and I would love a chance to read it 🙂

    • Margie on March 3, 2011 at 05:47

    I would like to be entered in this giveaway. Thanks so much!

  6. No need to enter me. I was on the fence with this novel, but I think I’ll pass on it. I have read one too many predictable novels lately! Thanks so much for the review.

  7. Would love to read this!

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

    • Linda Kish on March 3, 2011 at 12:13

    I would love to read this book.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

    • Amy on March 3, 2011 at 20:42

    This sounds like a sweet book. I would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway.

    • amandasue on March 3, 2011 at 20:55

    I’d love a chance into this giveaway, sounds like a lovely book.

    • Dawn M. on March 3, 2011 at 23:48

    Sounds like a really good story. Would love the chance to read it. Count me in, please!

    Thanks! :0)

    • Sarah E on March 5, 2011 at 19:45

    I would love to read this book! Please enter me in the giveaway.

  8. I would like to read this book. Please enter me into the giveaway.
    Thank you,

    • Joanna on March 6, 2011 at 11:06

    Sounds great, count me in please!

    • Jill on March 6, 2011 at 11:55

    I discovered your website by following links re: _Cutting for Stone_, which I loved reading as much as you did!

    Thanks for offering a book give-away for _Letters from Home_. Please enter me!

    • Kath on March 6, 2011 at 14:22

    Just got an idea for my next read from your blog…..Suite Francaise…but would be delighted to read Kristina McMorris’s new book…so please enter me in your give away. thank you!

    • Hannah Jones on March 6, 2011 at 18:09

    I’m interested in being entered into the drawing! It sounds like a really great book! It’s neat to hear of authors who have their first book published, as I am an aspiring author! Thank you for the opportunity!

    • Mona Garg on March 7, 2011 at 07:33

    Please enter me. It sounds like a great story. I enjoy books with shifting POV’s of the characters in the story. This style is a trademark of Jodie Picoult, one of my favorite authors. The cover is beautiful.

    Letter-writing is a lost art. I treasure the letters I have rec’d over the years.

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