Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book #48: Letters from Home

This book was always going to end up on my TBR pile - a World War ll love story - how could it not?

Letters from Home, by Kristina McMorris is the story of a love triangle - of sorts. The main character is Liz, a sweet yet strong woman, with relationship issues she tackles with such dignity, I was really drawn to her and her experiences throughout the novel.

She's also a loyal friend to both Betty and Julia, and it's through Betty that we are introduced to Morgan.

From the author's website:

Chicago, 1944. Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn't need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she's set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz glimpses Morgan McClain. They share only a brief conversation - cut short by the soldier's evident interest in Betty - but Liz can't forget him. Thus, when Betty asks her to ghostwrite a letter to Morgan, stationed overseas, Liz reluctantly agrees. 

Thousands of miles away, Morgan struggles to adjust to the brutality of war. His letters from "Betty" are a comfort, their soul-baring correspondence a revelation to them both. While Liz is torn by her feelings for a man who doesn't know her true identity, Betty and Julia each become immersed in their own romantic entanglements. And as the war draws to a close, all three will face heart-wrenching choices, painful losses, and the bittersweet joy of new beginnings.

There is a happy ending to this book, how could there not be - although it does take a while to reach. And the story itself, is much like its main character Liz - it's sweet. However, unlike Liz, I just found the book to be a little weak in places. Plot wise - great, a really lovely story that flowed well, had a few twists and turns, and left you wanting to read on to the next chapter. But I felt the whole time I was looking into the novel, rather than being a part of it, and I think this was due to not developing the characters enough. I also thought there was perhaps an extra storyline within the book that didn't need to be there, and thus took away from the central theme.

Perhaps I'm being a little too critical - it's not that I didn't enjoy the book, I think I just expected more from it, and where I thought it was going to be one I'd highly recommend, it instead became one I'd have to say, if you need something for the beach go for it, but there are probably others to read before this one.

Funnily enough, it's actually the story behind the story, explained on McMorris' websit, that intrigued me more than the novel itself!

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