Letters from Home
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.
- 2011 Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist for Best Historical Fiction
- Reader's Digest Condensed Book Selection
- Doubleday and Literary Guild Book Club Selection
- Night Owl Reviews Top Pick
- Coffee Time Reviewer's Recommend Award
- Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick
- Must-read selection in Woman's Day magazine
Behind the Story
During a weekend visit several years ago, I interviewed my maternal grandmother for the biographical section of a self-published cookbook intended as a Christmas gift for the family. It was then that I learned that she and my late grandfather had dated only twice before they married during World War II, and that their relationship had developed almost entirely through an exchange of letters. She then pulled from her closet the sailor's yellowed and wrinkled pages, each filled with the heartfelt words of an eighteen-year-old farm boy who didn't know if he would ever make it back.
On the drive home, I began to wonder how well you could really know someone through letters alone. What if my grandparents had been less than truthful in those pages? But then I tucked the thoughts away, where they quietly simmered for years until a 1940s film brought them back into focus. Soon I had the premise for what would become my first novel, my own love letter of sorts to an incredible generation we're losing much too quickly.