Published: May 28 2013 by Harlequin MIRA
Source: ARC provided in exchange for honest review
"I hope this letter gets to you quickly. We are always waiting aren't we? Perhaps the greatest gift this war has given us is the anticipation...."
It's January 1943 when Rita Vincenzo receives her first letter from Glory Whitehall. Glory is an effervescent young mother, impulsive and free as a bird. Rita is a sensible professor's wife with a love for gardening and a generous, old soul. Glory comes from New England society; Rita lives in Iowa, trying to make ends meet. They have nothing in common except one powerful bond: the men they love are fighting in a war a world away from home.
Brought together by an unlikely twist of fate, Glory and Rita begin a remarkable correspondence. The friendship forged by their letters allows them to survive the loneliness and uncertainty of waiting on the home front, and gives them the courage to face the battles raging in their very own backyards. Connected across the country by the lifeline of the written word, each woman finds her life profoundly altered by the other's unwavering support.
A collaboration of two authors whose own beautiful story mirrors that on the page, I'll Be Seeing You is a deeply moving union of style and charm. Filled with unforgettable characters and grace, it is a timeless celebration of friendship and the strength and solidarity of women.
I really enjoyed this book, it gave me insight in to what the wives have to go through when their husbands are away at war, and so much of it still applies today, raising the children alone, feeling lonely themselves because their husbands are gone for so long at a time, but at the same time being proud of them for serving their country and keeping them safe. One of the other things I really liked about this book was the recipes that they shared back and forth between each other, I know I will be trying out a few.
I have read books before about what it was like for the women in different countries during the war, say Poland, and there are definitely similarities in what they go through, they have to ration food, they have to (if they can) find a way to make money. Also the secrets that they have to keep, they may have different content, but they have to keep secrets all the same.
My favourite part of the book though was the juxtaposition of the two main characters, Glory is a young mother whom is pregnant when her husband leaves for war, and Rita is older and has a husband and a son enlisted in the war. They connected right away through their letters, and it was a wonderful mix of a relationship, part mother/daughter, but part best friends even though they had never met.
Some of the topics covered in their letters I had never thought of before, like what they treasure that we take for granted everyday, like pantyhose, or butter (margarine), bikes for their children, and sugar. I really think that this is a book for everyone, everyone can learn something from it.
One of my favourite characters was Rita's neighbour Mrs. K, the things that she said could be so nasty, but at the same time, she was there for just about everyone when they needed it, especially the correspondence with the soldiers that had no one to write back and forth to while they were on duty.
The outcome of everyone related to them that had been off to war was very realistic, I like that they did not sugar coat anything and make it a "happy" ending for the readers, we need more books that give us what reality really was/is like. I give this book a 4/5.