As part of a morale-building program, flight nurse Lt. Mellie Blake begins an anonymous correspondence with Lt. Tom MacGilliver in North Africa. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, they develop a deep friendship. But when they're both transferred to Algeria, will their future be held hostage by the past---or will they reveal their identities?
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Customer Reviews for With Every Letter: A Novel - eBook
Here’s the deal: anonymous mail being sent between war nurses and soldiers. One of the nurses is a shy girl, who’s always been a little different and never had any good friends. One of the soldiers is liked well-enough, but has some real problems and a dark ancestry that shadows over his present life. With a story like that…what’s not to love? I don’t know, because I loved this book! It was a very unique concept, with the story told from both sides and the letters that were sent as well. A great setting, characters who were truly lovely, and just enough angst to make you want to find out what happens. Once I get a hard copy of this book, it’ll definitely be going on my keepers shelf! I can’t wait for the next one, On Distant Shores, which I today discovered focuses on a favorite character from THIS book.
Goodness, I think it's the first time this happens to me. JUST finished With Every Letter and boy a few days ago, I didn't believe that I would even be writing a positive review about it. I didn't believe that I would finish it.
Let me give you not the not so good part, then we'll get to the good one.
I really did not like the book at first sight. In fact I remember being on p. 120 and deciding to just forget about it all.
1) Things were moving at a REALLY slow pace. Too slow, in my opinion.
2) It's been a while since I studied WW2 so I was a bit confused about a lot of the historical facts. I have a general knowledge of the War, but I believe that for this book a more in-depth knowledge is required. Not to mention that the unfamiliar military language and context added to my confusion. (The author did her research well though!)
3) The characters frustrated me! Too self-conscious with VERY low self-esteem. They were the kind that you'd want to shake and say 'Come on! Don't think of yourself that way, you're worth more! Mellie was too shy to the point that I found her to be a bit childish at some points and Tom just would not take matters into his hands as the leader of his platoon and would just keep smiling, when clearly, his men were lazy and people were telling him that things were just not right. I understood their reasons for acting the way they were but I was still frustrated.
HOWEVER. I started to flip through the pages and I realized that there were some surprising twists coming up. So I skimmed and skipped some parts, read the ones the ones that I found interesting- and they were many from that point on.. I was glued in! There was drama, humour, and the characters started to come alive and I found myself so eager to know how the story ended.
It was good! It was really good.
The characters matured and evolved and things started to change. Mellie almost left me with the impression that she was a bit selfish... right until she changed her mind before, ahem, the meeting. ( Don't want to giveaway anything.) Faith flowed easily and beautifully in the story and be still my heart the romance was SO lovely!!
I'm so glad to be giving this four stars. My first read from Sarah Sundin and I'm curious about the next one in this series.
I really love Sundin’s books. They’re all set during World War II and the best description I can come up with to describe them is “the greatest generation.” They’re great stories, but it also feels like I’m reading a tribute to the amazing men and women and the brave sacrifices they made to give us the gift of freedom that we enjoy today.
When I read Sarah's first book, A Distant Melody, I considered it one of the best books I had ever read. But she just keeps getting better! Readers who pick up With Every Letter with high expectations will not be disappointed. The characters are unique and well-developed. Both the hero and heroine start out with huge obstacles that threaten to interfere not just with romance, but with their ability to relate to the rest of the world, for the rest of their lives. The stakes are high personally, but also in terms of their contributions to the war effort. Both of them are in positions to save or lose many lives. The research for this novel alone is mind-boggling, as I discovered as I was whisked all over northern Africa. With Every Letter is another home run for Sarah Sundin. If you are interested in World War 2 history, you simply must read this tale. It's sure to satisfy lovers of historical fiction and historical romance everywhere. ~Jocelyn Green, author Wedded to War
I eagerly anticipated the arrival of Sarah Sundin’s new book, With Every Letter and it was well worth the wait! Mrs. Sundin takes the reader back to World War II with such detail that I finished the book with a clearer understanding of what went on during that time. The author takes time to do her research, it is quite clear that history is a passion for Mrs. Sundin.
With Every Letter is Book One in the Wings of the Nightingale series and introduces the reader to Lt. Mellie Blake and Lt. Tom MacGilliver. Both characters have some deep hurts to overcome and do so by leaning on each other (anonymously mind you). Their deep commitment to God and how He helps them through so much is explored.
Well done! Can’t wait for Book Two!
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group".
Sarah Sundin writes the best WWII dramas of any I've read!
Two outcasts connect through anonymous letters filled with encouragement and friendship in the midst of WWII.
Ms. Sundin writes a historical novel that has it all, emotion, well researched history, and friendship.
I was surprised with how much I connected with the characters, especially Mellie. She struggled to connect with people, and people often mistook her shy awkwardness for conceit and aloofness. In her character I saw myself. I guess I just really liked Mellie, because she was so much like me, and she wasn't a blond-haired, blue-eyed girl, but had a different ethnic backround.
With this book I wasn't sure at first if I would be drawn in, because the main characters don't meet till much later in the book. But I truly felt that they were able to connect through their letters to each other. And I ended up loving the plot!
The characters grew in so many ways, and they had to take leaps of faith and go outside of their comfort zones. Both of the characters had to fight to not let what other people thought of them to define them, and I was cheering for both of them the whole way through! Many of the side characters surprised me and I loved this touching story of friendship.
The historical details are very precise and I can tell that Ms. Sundin put alot of work into the researching of this book.
Overall there wasn't anything that I didn't love about With Every Letter, there were so many little details that Ms. Sundin brought together beautifully, and some were very poignant. And I just loved both Mellie and Tom and how they faced their struggles in a very realistic way, and how they grew in their faith. With Every Letter is a well woven tale of love and friendship, and I highly recommend it!
“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”
I received this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Thank you!
I love books about romance during WWII, especially when the characters are as well drawn as Sarah’s are. That war was a great part of my childhood. I was five when it began and nine when it ended. Sarah Sundin’s books bring back so many memories…some good, some not so good. Her stories have captured my heart and I look forward to each one. In her new series, Sarah has once again written a love story to grip and hold your heart. Set in WWII, she captures the spirit and determination of the “Greatest Generation” as they endure the hardships the war brings into their lives. Mixed with suspense and characters you will come to love, this is a love story you don’t want to miss. Tom and Mellie’s friendship begins with letters sent across the Atlantic with the writer’s not knowing the other’s identity. Then they meet face to face for the first time in Algeria of all places. With her attention to detail, Sundin brings to life this time of uncertainty as Tom and Mellie face the challenge of overcoming their fears and facing the future without the bondage of their pasts. This is definitely a book you don’t want to miss.
In book one of her new Wings of the Nightingale series, Sarah Sundin has delivered yet another WWII era classic piece of fiction. An unlikely friendship develops between a seemingly friendless flight nurse and an equally friendless Lt. in an Engineer core. The anonymity of their relationship via mailed letters appeals to them both in the beginning. Sundin has done her research, weaving her knowledge of WWII history, medicine and the human spirit into a beautiful story celebrating life, friendship and the beauty of a romance that defies the odds.
This book gave you an inside look at what it was like to be among the first trained flight nurses during WWII. Just like in the work places back home, they were not always welcomed into routines previously fulfilled only by men. It additionally covers the fears involved with taking on leadership roles in a time of war - even by talented and capable men.
This book will likely appeal more to women than men, but anyone who is a WWII history nut will find it to be an entertaining read.
*Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. The additional information below was provided by the publisher.
“With Every Letter” is a pleasure-filled journey set in a historically rich period: WWII. I adore the concept of this novel: two people, exchanging letters fall in love, but have never met, all set against the backdrop of a time rife with turmoil.
The plot is unique and takes the reader on a series of twists that only make the book more of a discovery to read. With the first in a new series of three, I’m eager to learn what is coming up next.
I thought the theme of friendship a bit overdone at times. It felt too strongly overt for many of the moments of character growth, however when looked upon as a whole, the journey of the characters is one marked with the learning of accepting and giving forgiveness more than anything else.
The characters certainly make their share of mistakes, but I found I truly cared for these two people. They are surrounded by a time that demands everything from them. I found their determination inspiring. The romance, is of course, my favorite plot element…and I don’t think disappoints. I loved the moments of “dancing”, in more than just the implied idea. ;-)
A great start to a new series…I’m looking forward to what’s next.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review through Litfuse.
I haven't read any of Sarah Sundin's previous novels, but I've heard great things about them, and I was looking forward to reading her new release, With Every Letter.
The concept to the story was intriguing to me (two people writing anonymous letters to each other) and, I have to say, I loved the "letters" in With Every Letter.
The characters were wonderful! My favorites being Tom, Mellie, and Clint. Mellie's character was very shy and I could relate to that because I am typically shy and (like her) I hope to overcome that. :) I felt kind of bad for Tom and all he had to deal with from a child on (not going into specifics). And Clint, well, I just loved how he acted when he met Rose....he made me laugh.
I loved the story and would have given With Every Letter 5 stars, but, at times, I found it hard to follow because of some of the words used (regarding the military aspect)...this may have only been a problem with me, though.
I also loved how mercy was a big part of With Every Letter. Mellie was a great example of not only showing mercy to your friends, but also to your enemies.
Overall, I loved With Every Letter and recommend it if you enjoy historical romances set around WWII. It was great and I look forward to reading book two in the Wings of Nightingale series.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
Sarah Sundin in her new book, “With Every Letter” Book One in the Wings of the Nightingale series published by Revell takes us into the lives of Mellie Blake and Tom MacGilliver.
From the back cover: They know everything about each other–except their real names.
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.
I like history and, even though she won’t admit it, I think Sarah Sundin is secretly a historian. It is her attention to details that help draw you into the story as well, of course, as her marvelous characters. Ms. Sundin makes you feel as though you are there in every battle, experiencing every life threatening moment and feeling intense relief when it is finished. Back to the characters, both Mellie Blake and Tom MacGilliver are presented in such a real manner that you feel as though they are friends of yours and when the book eventually ends you are sorry to see them go. “With Every Letter” is an exciting book. However, as exciting as the story is the romance between Mellie and Tom takes top priority as each of them deals with their individual issues. ”With Every Letter” deals with themes of forgiveness and restoration as only God can produce. Ms. Sundin has done it again and I recommend this book highly. I am so looking forward to book two in this series.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Litfuse Publicity Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
With Every Letter is the first book in her new Wings of the Nightingale series. While watching Shop Around the Corner, she began wondering what it would be like to fall in love through letters at a soul connection. As she noodled on that idea, With Every Letter was born. Mellie is a woman who's never quite fit in and as a result is a loner who can't form friendships. But her boss is requiring her to if she wants to become a flight nurse. Tom is also a loner because of his past. He puts on a sunny front, but in reality he doesn't let people close. Both long for someone who knows them deeply, and through anonymous letters feel the safety to open their hearts to another. Both Mellie and Tom are surrounded with characters who reinforce their fears and others who dig deeper past the walls they've erected. Both firmly believe that love will never be possible for them...but if it could be, it would be with their anonymous letter sender.
Sarah is a masterful writer who captures the time with breath-taking detail. The journey of these characters will pull you in and leave you rooting for them to rise above their beliefs of themselves and do what it takes to risk love. I highly recommend it for lovers of historical romance.
Sundin has written another great novel of the WW II era. She has done her research and readers will learn a great deal about the campaign in northern Africa, the role of engineers, and the role of that new breed of women nurses aboard airplanes taking the injured away from the front. What a great idea for a romance novel! Two people falling in love through anonymous letters. And the interaction between the two when their duty assignments allow them to be in the same place at the same time, yet each one not knowing the other is the anonymous letter writer (at least at first).
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. If you like historical novels that are well researched and have a realistic romance included, you will like this one. There are discussion questions at the end of the novel so it would make a good choice for a reading group. Mellie is a feisty gal and stands up to those who would put down this new breed of nurses who want to help the injured right near the battlefield. And Tom, well Tom has lots he needs to work out. If only he could be as honest in person as he is in his anonymous letters.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
I haven't read a book by Sarah Sundin that I haven't liked. This story started out a bit slow, but I hung in there and was hooked about five chapters into the story. I loved the mystery of the letters and how they were able to be open with each other without fear, but at the same time the very thing they feared -- falling in love -- was inevitable. This was a sweet love story. I can easily see it as a movie, and while reading I could hear the author's unique voice in my head. Sundin always goes into depth with her characters and shows you the background behind their behavior. We are all products -- to an extent -- of our childhoods, and we all have our struggles to overcome. Some of us deal with these issues better than others, but we all have them.
The romance in this story was hard to pull off at first, but once my heart became engaged with the characters, I was excited when each new letter arrived as well. I loved how the author showed them overcoming areas of weakness and how God used their trials to make them stronger. I also loved how they each had a strength and a weakness that contrasted with the other person's, and how they were able to encourage each other as a result. The ending was thrilling to say the least. I was as excited as Tom was to discover the identity of his mystery woman.
This was a great love story, but it also had a lot of spiritual depth. I loved it when "Annie" told Tom to just imitate Jesus when he struggled with leadership. When he studied how Jesus dealt with issues I learned something too. What great advice! I think I'll take it and use it in my job as well. :)
The lost art of writing a letter is beautifully revealed through this book. Letters can reveal much about a person. You can even be more bold in a letter than you would normally be in person. Revealing so much about you and your heart is so much easier when you don't really know the person that you are writing to, either.
Tom and Mellie find themselves loving the company of each other---through letter, of course. There's a hitch to keeping this letter writing thing going, though. Neither of them know the other person's identity. Being a girl (which really isn't the reason), Mellie actually does find out Tom's identity much faster than he finds out hers. Mellie tries to decide whether or not to reveal her true self to Tom, but is convinced that if he were to see her less-than-attractive-face-to-her, then he would want nothing else to do with her. Truth is, she needs him and his letters to help process all that she's gone through and seen. She needs him to heal. And unknowingly, Tom needs his precious Mellie (or Annie, if you're going by pen pal names) for all of those same reasons. With two people who have such a past that leaves them struggling to fit in, will they be able to reveal themselves and continue on with the relationship staying the same?
I really enjoyed this book, as well as Sarah's other books. I love the historical tidbits that she puts in her books. You can tell that she's done some research and has knowledge about the time period in which she writes. She's a fairly new writer to me, as I was only first introduced to her a few years ago, but I have come to find that she is also a writer that I do and will continue to seek out when I'm looking for a good book to read. I have yet to be disappointed by her!
__________________ I received this book free from Revell Publishers and Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
There are so many things I could relate to in this book. You know how when you listen to a song and it can take you to a place you haven't thought of in years? This book had that affect on me.
For me there was so much depth to this story. The resistance the nurses faced by being women on the field, having to get along with those in your division, the orders you had to obey, the fight for position and rank - I don't understand why anyone would want to go into the service, but admire those who do and am very grateful for those who have literally gave their lives for the freedoms we enjoy. My grandfather was a pilot during World War II. I am grateful he made it back alive and I had the privilege of knowing him.
Back to the book...
The main character Lieutenant Mellie considers herself different and finds it hard to make friends with the other nurses she's around every day. I just think she found it hard to trust people after what her mother did to her and her father. There have been things in my life that have caused me to be very UNtrusting.
Friendships are a huge part of life and many of the characters in With Every Letter Written learn that intimate relationships open the heart to hurt, but the key to maintaining those close relationships is mercy, love, forgiveness and restoration. If you are like me some of those steps are harder than others, even when you know the right thing to do.
Mellie is given the opportunity to pen-pal with a service man stationed overseas whose name is Lt. Tom MacGillver. After initially baulking at the idea, she begins her correspondence which turns out to be just what she and the service man needed. My husband and I got to know each other the same way. Reading Mellie and Tom's story brought a wide range of emotions and memories back. It's hard to get to know someone via letters, UNLESS both people are completely open and honest. I loved their story and didn't feel it was a stretch of the imagination for the time setting of the storyline or for today because I believe long distance relationships can and do work, if both people believe in the relationship and commit to it. Definitely not for the needy or fainthearted as it does take a lot of time and work. Just as if you were together in person.
I loved the ending. While I had predicted what the ultimate outcome would be I loved the clever way it happened.
Two thumbs up for a heartwarming, emotionally evoking book that made me fall in love with Mellie, Tom and their friends. I loved their characters, grit and courage in the face of many different obstacles, including a war. It's so hard when a good book ends....sniff, sniff.
<em>Faith and Family Reviews received the following product in exchange for writing a review. While we consider it a privilege to receive products to review, our reviews are our honest opinion and thoughts of the product.</em>
Some of my most favorite and memorable movies are the old classic black and white movies starring Jimmy Stewart, and one of them is The Shop Around The Corner. It set the precedent for the newer movie, You've Got Mail and also the premise and background for Sarah Sundin's latest novel, With Every Letter. This is the first in the Wings of the Nightingale Series and being a huge fan of WWII fiction novels, I knew I wanted to read this one.
The book introduces us to two very different but similar characters. The first is Lt. Philomela "Mellie" Blake who we meet as a nurse at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center carrying for her patients while awaiting a response to become a flight nurse for the upcoming Air Evacuation Group that was forming in Bowman Field in Kentucky. When the Army Air Force announced plans to train nurses to assist in air evacuation, Mellie had begged the chief for a recommendation. Flight nurses would fly into combat areas, load the wounded, and care for them in the air. They would be stationed all over the world, and she hoped even in the Pacific, close to her Papa, who went missing when the Japanese conquered the Philippines a few months earlier and she doesn't know his fate, but believes he is still alive.
Yet the biggest challenge facing Mellie is her lack of social skills in making friends. She can work magic caring for the patients she oversees but forming any long, lasting connection, is near to impossible for her. When she is asked by chief nurse to participate in a letter writing campaign to boost morale and encourage the men serving in the armed forces, she is more than fearful. If she can't maintain relationships with men or women, how can she possible participate in this. But with encouragement from her chief nurse, she willingly agrees and finds that perhaps she might be on her way to something that might open doors for her to finally make friends.
Lt. Thomas MacGilliver Jr is the lucky recipient of Mellie's attempt at friendship through the letter writing campaign and they both have been asked not to reveal any details or names but to keep the letter writing as professional and encouraging on both ends as possible. Thomas is made aware that the letter writers are flight nurses and that is about as personal to her identity that Mellie and Thomas can be. What he finds is a fellow soul mate that speaks the same language she does. He, too, has a difficult time making friends and finds that aside from leading a platoon of men into war, that is about as far as his relationships go as well. He also has a dark past that he is trying to escape from and with Mellie's help, he may finally put his ghosts from his past to rest once and for all. So he finds a true friend through his letter writing with Mellie and that is the true treasure of this book.
It shows how much a letter from someone can really encourage one another through the hardships and trials of war. What may start as a friendship may lead to something more as Mellie and Tom get to know one another without revealing too much and find a love that goes beyond mere words on a page. It's taking the movie premise of letter writing to a completely different and timeless level in this wonderful book and what happens along the way is worth reading this historical novel. I can't wait for the next book in this series. I received this novel, With Every Letter, compliments of Litfuse Publicity for my honest review and have to say this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion. For those of you that love a great historical romance set in the midst of WW2, then you will truly LOVE this novel!
This reader is delighted that there is a new series Wings of the Nightingale coming from Christian Historical Fiction author Sarah Sundin. I still hold that A Distant Melody might be one of my favorite books ever and with all that I read, this is a really saying something – so bringing on a new series, I couldn’t be more delighted and excited to see what I might find within the pages of such a novel and over the top, I was not disappointed. I knew, before I knew anything else, through a conversation with Sarah that this was going to be a war times You’ve Got Mail/The Shop Around the Corner story, but different and that’s exactly what it was. I’d love to see *this* one as a film!
With Every Letter did not grip me from the first page, because I found myself to be very unsure about Mellie, our heroine. However, as she learned to truly love and accept herself, I realized myself to grow to love her as well and with the type of story that this was that is a perfect reader/novel relationship. Tom our hero is a great character as well. This story is more about the people than the setting, and while it is interesting it was the content of the letters and emotions that I wanted more of and was granted within these pages.
Giving plenty of laugh-out-loud, quit-it-I’m-going-to-cry, and down right cannot turn the pages fast enough or even would someone please watch my children so that I can just go read and see what happens next— this was a read that I definitely did not want to miss and it was a completely delightful one a that. I’m not surprised to find myself loving it and as I finish the pages what I do find myself is devastated that I will have to wait so long for more Wings of the Nightingale series. Honestly, I want to know more about Kay…
I haven't read one book by Sarah Sundin I haven't enjoyed. There was one that had a minor part I didn't care for but overall her books are really interesting and well written. With Every Letter was no different!
This book centers around Mellie and Tom. Mellie is a nurse and Tom is an engineer. Their relationship starts with just writing anonymous letters to each other and then blossoms into something way more. There is some intrigue in this as you wonder how quickly Mellie is going to make friends and if she can keep her job. Tom is such a sweetheart who can't see that many people don't care about his past and that what his father did once was not who he really was.
There was a part in this book that really made me think. Another soldier is a foreigner and many of the other comrades pick on him because of this. It all comes to a head and Tom steps in. But what he tells them is what made me pay attention. This soldier picking on a fellow American wants to get rid of him. And Tom tells him that he wants a country then where no one is different. He then turns it around and points to Hitler and Germany. At that point the other man sees what he is actually doing and stops the fight. This really caught my attention and I loved how Sarah put this in here.
There were two statements I didn't think needed to be in here but they were something minor I can skip over. Overall an excellent book I have already loaned out and will re-read many times over. You have to understand I am not a big fan of WWII books and don't read many. But Sarah's books are all on my shelf! Keep em coming, Sarah!!
Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I received a copy of this book for my review purposes. I did not receive any monetary compensation. All thoughts are 100% mine.
When Millie Blake reluctantly, actually forced to, begin anonymous correspondence with Tom [Ernie] MacGulliver. Both have had life long problems to deal with. Millie has never had a friend, and Tom has had to deal with his father being a murderer [MacGilliver the Killerer]. While they can't open up to others they open up to each other in their letters. Each begins to depend on hearing from the other. Tom is a Civil Engineer and has been sent to North Africa...he is putting airfields back together. While Millie is being sent with a new Army program of Flight Nurse. Will their paths cross? Will Millie be able to outgrow her shyness and make some friends? Will Tom be able to come to terms with being the Son a Murderer? Will he be able to become a real soldier, and not be afraid to stand up for his Country? We travel through battles and are reminded of who are are Allies...and who changed sides? Don't miss this really great historical read. I can't wait for the next novels in this series...They are amazing!
I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Tours and the Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.