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With Every Letter

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With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin

Reviewed by Rel Mollet

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"Sarah Sundin crafts another beautiful story set in WWII... one of the most captivating historical novels I have read this year."

When the opportunity arises to train as a flight nurse, Lieutenant Mellie Blake grasps hold of the opportunity, keen to forge a new path despite obstacles to the venture by entrenched military conservatism. Relishing the chance to use her nursing skills where they are most needed, Mellie realizes she must overcome her own inadequacies when it comes to working as a team and making friends with her fellow nurses. Her exotic heritage and childhood in the Philippino jungle has not prepared her for the social mores of American culture, and the impact of childhood torment for being different has followed her into adulthood.

Lieutenant Tom MacGilliver seeks to outrun the infamy of his name by being everyone's buddy, reluctant to exercise the leadership skills he has for fear of garnering a reputation he has fought all his life to flee. When the opportunity arises for him to correspond anonymously with a nurse, he is able to share his true self for the first time without fear of judgement and derision that usually follows a personal introduction.

Correspondence flows freely between Mellie and Tom, each oblivious to the fact that their paths will soon cross and the security their anonymity has given each of them, destroyed. As the war intensifies so do their feelings for each other yet their entrenched fears and insecurities may signal the death of any hope they might have for a future together.

Sarah Sundin crafts another beautiful story set in WWII, a time of great conflict and unforgettable heroism. The attention to historical detail is unparalleled without being overwhelming, truly making history come alive page by page, a hallmark of Sundin's writing. Mellie and Tom wrestle with deep seated pain from their formative years that impacts how they relate to those around them. Mellie has a skewed view of her own appearance and is woefully inadequate at friendship so she has stopped trying. Tom denies his own emotions, presenting a jolly outlook to all, impeding his ability to manage his men and calling his leadership into question. The healing they offer each other via the written word is beautifully told - their letters to each other one of the highlights of the novel. Sundin's combination of fascinating military and period detail, an alluring and unique romance, suspense and danger make With Every Letter one of the most captivating historical novels I have read this year. It is a stellar beginning to her Wings of the Nightingale series, and I can't wait for more.

Rel MolletRel Mollet is a lawyer, wife and mother of three young daughters and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Reading has been her passion since childhood. She is a Book Club Co-ordinator and has her own website ~ relzreviewz ~ dedicated to reviews and author interviews with the sole aim to support authors writing from a Christian worldview. She believes Sir Francis Bacon's (1561 - 1626) creed, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body".