“With Every Letter” by Sarah Sundin

Book 1 in the Wings of the Nightingale series

Lt. Mellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. She is not looking forward to writing a letter to a man she’s never met–even if it is anonymous and part of a morale-building program. Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the idea of an anonymous correspondence–he’s been trying to escape his infamous name for years.
As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other’s true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face-to-face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts?
Combining a flair for romance with excellent research and attention to detail, Sarah Sundin vividly brings to life the perilous challenges of WWII aviation, nursing–and true love.
 
With Every Letter is a really fun book, despite the seriousness of the characters’ situations and the war happening in the background.  Mellie and Tom are brave and persistent, using humor to defuse the tenseness of their situations and leaning on each other to push through the hardest times.  Throw in Tom’s rat-loving dog, and you’ve got a cast of characters who are honest, real, and would make great friends.  
 
Sundin paints a colorful picture of the war in North Africa, vivid enough to make picturing the war campaign easy but without the gruesomeness that surely accompanied the reality.  The details kept the story firmly entrenched in the time period, making this historical fiction better than many.
 
I was surprised with just how much I liked this book.  While a pen pal romance isn’t exactly new, the character sketches make this story unique.  With each pen pal a near-total outcast in his/her own circle for reasons beyond their control, you can’t help but wish the best for them, and as they emerge from their shells, each transforms into a beautiful butterfly.
 
You can purchase this book here.
 
Sarah Sundin received the 2011 Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and her second novel A Memory Between Us is a finalist for an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. Her stories are inspired by her great-uncle who flew with the U.S. Eighth Air Force in England during World War II. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. www.sarahsundin.com

Find out more about Sarah at http://www.sarahsundin.com/.
 
I received a free copy of With Every Letter from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for an honest review.
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