MACKALL, DANDI DALEY
WITH LOVE WHEREVER YOUR ARE
Everyone knows that war romances never last...
Nurse Helen Eberhart approaches everything in life with pure determination. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Helen decides to enlist as an Army nurse. There, her grit is put to the test when she's assigned to care for the broken bodies of some of the most severely wounded soldiers, many no older than her own beloved brothers.
Frank Daley wasn't trying to be a hero. He'd only enlisted to finish medical school, confident that the war would be over before his deferment ran out. Instead Lt. Frank R. Daley, MD, is sent straight from his graduation to boot camp, the last stop before a battlefield hospital in Europe. And none of his training prepares him for the chance encounter with a spirited nurse who steals his heart.
After a whirlwind romance and wedding, Helen and Frank are sent to the front lines of Europe with only letters to connect them for months at a time. Surrounded by danger and desperately wounded patients, they soon find that only the war seems real -- and their marriage more and more like a distant dream.
Imagine being entrusted with hundreds of your parents' love letters with the caveat that you can't read them until both mom and dad are gone. What a bittersweet moment that must have been when the author finally got to open that first letter. As she read of their wartime romance, creative juices started to flow and the result is the astounding fictional account of Frank and Helen love's story. And it is totally brilliant.
Be sure to read the author's note at the back of the book which includes the most spectacular pictures. There's one of Helen sitting on Frank's lap. She's smiling at the camera but he only has eyes for her. Besotted about sums him up -- in real life and the fictional one Mackall has created.
Just to be clear -- this isn't a biography -- from what I understand, the author used the letters and her parents' wartime service as inspiration. Only she knows fact from fiction but vivid first-hand details make this one outstanding novel. From the hospital scenes to the outrageous banter between nurse and patient to the infuriating actions of the army (I hope they've evolved since the 1940s!) an authentic period vibe rings true through the entire read.
I loved the format -- letters interspersed with actual scenes. Everything flowed together so well that I just couldn't put this book down. I wanted to savor every glorious moment of Frank and Helen's story. It was pretty much love at first sight for him. Not so much for her. Helen carries some wounds from childhood which makes her wary of love -- especially committing herself to marriage. But war sharpens emotions. There's conflict and tension, hope and despair, laughter and tears. In short -- the stuff real life is made of.
A magnificent, remarkable, glorious read!
I just discovered this awesome video: Take a look --
If you would like a chance to win a copy of With Love Wherever You Are, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTcom. If you add your email to your comment make sure to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday August 6 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.