Tuesday, May 28, 2013

I'll Be Seeing You by Suzanne Hayes Palmieri & Loretta Nyhan

I'll Be Seeing YouWhen I first realized this book was written entirely in letters...I thought "uh oh...all telling, no showing."

I couldn't have been more wrong.

Yes, it's all told through letters, but the words draw you into the page. As I read, I stepped back in time, into the lives of two women left on the home-front during WWII. Everything--from their gardens to their recipes to their nosy neighbors all served to totally transport me and draw me in.

Two pen-pals develop an incredible bond. And I found myself comparing these two women to modern-day women on Facebook. We make friendships, incredible ones, through the Internet, so I believe many friendships were made back then via snail mail.

Rita is an older woman. She has a grown son in the Navy and her husband is also serving. She has so much to lose. Her strength helps those around her, as well as Glory across the country. Glory is much younger and at times, stupid, but she's discovering herself.

There's worry and fear and all kinds of guilt in their letters. There's infidelity. There's grief. There's conflicting emotions. There are pregnancies. There's romance. (Now, remember, these ladies are talking about others in their lives too.) 

There's so much really within these letters, but I'm just going to mention two things I loved very much...I felt Glory's story, her changes, really showed the evolution of women during this time. First, she learns to take care of a house without servants, she then begins to speak up for women's rights, and by the end of the war, she's looking around her and speaking for all rights. Her story, despite some of her wrongdoings, really spoke to me. The Glory pre-war was not the same woman after the war.

Rita...Rita changes too. She starts a bit more judgmental and as the book goes on, opens her heart and her home to others.

Their letters are filled with heartache, but also humor. For every time a tear ran down my face, I laughed at least twice in other parts of the book.

I highlighted some areas, really, I've gone on long enough.

Terrific book. I can't recommend it highly enough. Though-evoking, rich in history, tear-jerking, and just REAL. Five bikes. I received this from netgalley.

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