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Sep 22, 2012

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale #1)
A richly told account of two souls surviving all odds

With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin
Revell, September 2012
Paperback 432 pages
Review copy provided by LitFuse promotions
Burton Book Review Rating: 4.5 stars

Read my review of an earlier work by Sarah Sundin: Blue Skies Tomorrow

As part of a World War II morale-building program, flight nurse Lt. Mellie Blake begins an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, they develop a deep friendship. But when they're both transferred to Algeria, will their future be held hostage by the past---or will they reveal their identities?

With Every Letter provides two point of views: Tom MacGilliver, and Mellie Blake. The story shifts narration between the two characters as they each struggle with the emotional and stressful events of World War II even as they are each both trying to grow up. They both have issues that stem from their childhood, and they find friendship and camaraderie, but most elusive of all - understanding, through the letters they write to each other.

The one catch is that they both must maintain anonymity in their letters in the best interest of being able to bear one's soul. Of course, Mellie finds out who she is writing to eventually, and they even meet. Tom doesn't figure out his pen-pal is Mellie, and Mellie is absolutely certain that Tom would be devastated if he found out that horse-faced Mellie was the same as his precious pen-pal Annie.

The two characters are battling issues of fitting in with their respective troops while stationed in various places during the War, and they find comfort sharing their fears through their letters. Mellie is a woman who would be happy to be left alone, and has never cultivated a social etiquette; she always says the wrong thing at the wrong time. Tom has problems fitting in because of his infamous last name: his father was a renowned murderer.

The storyline was a unique one, and it was packed with historical tidbits in relation to the War. Places were mostly new to me, since the fight of the Allies was based in many camps overseas. Both of Mellie's and Tom's characters were well done and very fleshed out, flaws and all. Even though they would do things in a gauche way, we could definitely empathize with them as opposed to wanting to scream at them to grow up and face the music. The ending was my favorite, and warmed my heart. The author does not take her craft lightly, she diligently researches her material and presents it into a fabulous story that I won't forget. I am looking forward to book two, with the way book one was I can imagine we will next follow the story of Mellie's friends Georgie or Rose.

Buy With Every Letter
Thank you to LitFuse for this free product in exchange for a review.