Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: I'll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Palmieri-Hayes and Loretta Nyhan

Title: I'll Be Seeing You
Author: Suzanne Pamlieri-Hayes and Loretta Nyhan
Genre: Historical Fiction (WWII)
Source: FirstReads
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

"I hope this letter gets to you quickly. We are always waiting, aren't we? Perhaps the greatest gift this war has given us is the anticipation..." 

It's January 1943 when Rita Vincenzo receives her first letter from Glory Whitehall. Glory is an effervescent young mother, impulsive and free as a bird. Rita is a sensible professor's wife with a love of gardening and a generous, old soul. Glory comes from New England society; Rita lives in Iowa, trying to make ends meet. They have nothing in common except one powerful bond: the men they love are fighting in a war a world away from home. 

Brought together by an unlikely twist of fate, Glory and Rita begin a remarkable correspondence. The friendship forged by their letters allows them to survive the loneliness and uncertainty of waiting on the home front, and gives them the courage to face the battles raging in their very own backyards. Connected across the country by the lifeline of the written word, each woman finds her life profoundly altered by the other’s unwavering support.

A collaboration of two authors whose own beautiful story mirrors that on the page, I’ll Be Seeing You is a deeply moving union of style and charm. Filled with unforgettable characters and grace, it is a timeless celebration of friendship and the strength and solidarity of women.

With so many of the country's men gone to war during WWII, the "war-wives" were encouraged to write letters to each other.  Letters offering support and advice.  Letters to show that they weren't alone.  Rita and Glory were matched by the fates drawing a name from a hat, and there were perfect for each other.  Both are struggling to adapt to their new life without their men around.  Reaching out to each other half way across the country, they manage to forge a bond that saved both of them many times.

This is not a book to read quickly.  It is meant to be curled up with in a nice comfy chair, bed, couch, blanket and take a few small sips every now and then.  I found myself putting the book aside inbetween letters to let it all sink it.  To try and imagine the anticipation they must have felt as they waited for the mail to arrive.  It is something we modern folk don't experience much with email, facebook, and twitter connecting people instantly.  This was a fantastic look back into ourselves and what it was like to wait - but wait in a good way.  

I don't think I can really express how much I enjoyed this.  It has been one of the highlights of my reading this year, and definitely makes the must read again list.  I'm sure it will just as powerful each and every time I pick it up.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Barnes & Noble: I'll Be Seeing You
Book Depository: I'll Be Seeing You

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