Customer Reviews for

Letters From Home

Average Rating 4.5
( 47 )
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(34)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Beautifully written and very engaging book

The first thing I have to say about this book is the fact that it really felt like I was in the 1940s in the midst of WWII. Ms. McMorris does a fabulous job of setting the tone and setting of the book. I felt like she really did her research from the way the characters ...
The first thing I have to say about this book is the fact that it really felt like I was in the 1940s in the midst of WWII. Ms. McMorris does a fabulous job of setting the tone and setting of the book. I felt like she really did her research from the way the characters talked to the various settings, they just felt right. No accidental usage of current slang to take me out of the moment. The era is the book is wonderfully done. Next is the characters. I love Liz and Julia and Betty grew on me. Betty seemed a little stuck on herself at first but as I read more about her I started liking her more and more. Liz seems to be the star of this book while still having storylines involving Julia and Betty. I am in hopes that more books will follow and will tell the continuing stories of Julia and Betty. In this book Liz is engaged, but then she meets Morgan the night before he heads off to serve in the war. Then she sees him with Betty and gives up on the feelings she felt. Then the curveball is thrown when Betty asks Liz to write to Morgan for her since she doesn't know what to say. A relationship grows through the letters and leads to the main storyline of the book. I found the letters fascinating and a wonderful way to get to know the characters. The letters are interspersed with accounts from each of the characters lives and it's a great way to get to know all the main players in the book and also to see life on the home front and on the front lines. The focus is on the characters though and how they grow and change during the book because of the way they affect one another. The book is beautifully written and completely captivating. I hated putting it down to do other things and was anxious to pick it back up. I could read it in a busy room with no problem, that was how engrossed I would become in the book. The romance is sweet, the end is great, the tension building is wonderfully done and I just can't gush enough about this book. This is Ms. McMorris' debut and I can't wait to see what she writes next.

posted by crystal_fulcher on March 21, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Good story

Reminds me of the feeling of waiting for that special someone to mail you a letter, something our kids will never understand in this world where we are all connected constantly by cell phones, computers, etc...

posted by 7075569 on February 21, 2012

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  • Posted March 11, 2011

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    Great Historical Fiction

    This book was a great smooth read, you felt yourself being dragged into the trenches with the characters. I felt like I was along side Morgan and what he was facing in the war zone. Also felt like I was right along side Liz and her choices she was making. This is a great fresh read into our history. Really showed how the war affected so many and how women survived with so much turmoil.
    Definitely will be looking for more books by this author she has really hit on something great and wonderful. Her ability at story telling was amazing. I was actually surprised how engrossed in this story I got so quickly. Which is something most books are lacking. Most of them have dead areas, and this story didn't I was captivated wanting to see how it played out.

    It definitely showed how the War grew young adults up in a rather quick motion. And how what we plan isn't always what transpires things happen, choices are made and not the ones we plan. I can only imagine her parents love story was as great as Liz and Morgan's. Kristina McMorris has definitely turned me onto reading this period type work. As generally I surpass it as too much blood shed and horror, but she has given it a romantic spin, of how kids were and how they dealt with life challenges.

    I rate this book as 5 stars as never has a novel grabbed me like this one. It grabbed me sucked me in, held my emotions and gave me tons of insight. I will be checking out any and all work by this Author. Way to go your story rocks. I couldn't even put it into words how great it was!

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  • Posted March 10, 2011

    ww2 soldiers letters

    I would love to tell you the story was great, but only I can't read it after I purchased the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Enchanting and authentic

    Letters from Home by Kristina McMorris follows four unsung WWII heroes during their personal transformations while the second war to-end-all-wars shaped the history of our world. I'm familiar with many WWII movies from The Bridge over the River Kwai to Saving Private Ryan, and the Band of Brothers miniseries.

    Ms. McMorris brings an additional WWII flavor to Letters with the focus on three women whose lives were forever changed by the war. I personally feel the mastery behind this novel is the romance between Liz and Morgan through letters. Without her letters with Morgan, Liz would have not been transformed by the war. Instead, she may have taught the history of WWII as a professor instead of the potential life to unfold at the end of the novel.

    Julia has a fiancé solider and Betty becomes a WAC and they make their choices and change specifically because WWII events affected their lives and this adds great depth and flavor to the story. But Liz doesn't even know she's fighting a war within until her contact with Morgan as he is living the war in the trenches.

    I personally found the letters as presented to be compelling and very true to the art and craft of letter writing as it existed in the 1940's. The censorship on personal communication that also existed during WWII meant that both writer and reader needed to truly read-between-the-lines. Bits of poetry and childhood memories shared with the ever present horror of war hanging over their heads truly does reveal a lot about the soul of the person, and love can bloom there.

    This novel is enchanting, well paced, and strongly written. Readers will be avidly turning the pages and willing to discuss it for many years to come. There's even intriguing recipes at the end.

    Ms. McMorris also has a wonderful website with additional stories, real WWII letters, and more information about the United Through Reading organization.

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  • Posted February 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    McMorris Has a Home Run with LETTERS FROM HOME!

    Set during World War II,Kristina McMorris has created a moving story in LETTERS FROM HOME. This narrative was inspired by the true love story of her own grandparents' romance and how their correspondence during the war resulted in their eventual loving union. Revolving around three female characters, LETTERS FROM HOME will grab you from the first page and not let you go until you have finished by looking at the wonderful "war time" recipes McMorris has included in the back of the book. Liz Stephens, Betty Cordell, and Julia Renard were roommates in Chicago back in 1944. Each with a different goal in mind, the story follows these women as their lives entwine and they strive to reach those goals. Along the way, they find that no matter what they planned, life happens and some of their journeys end in a much different place than originally intended. Liz starts out fully expecting to marry Dalton Harris, a friend since they were children who is now a young, local politician. Betty is set on marrying a man of means, unlike her mother, while Julia's dream is heading in the right direction now with a chance to intern for a very famous fashion design team. Julia is also engaged to Christian Downing, who is already overseas and while she waits for his return, knowing decisions will need to be made, his brother Ian returns from war, a changed man. Julia feels sorry for him but before she realizes it, those feelings begin to change to something more intense. Morgan McClain, who with his brother Charlie, is enjoying a last hurrah at the Chicago USO Club before shipping out. When Morgan and Liz meet at the USO, there is immediate chemistry, but when Morgan, always the good guy, goes to help Betty, Liz leaves thinking she had probably imagined it. What could she be thinking anyway when she is destined to be with Dalton? One thing leads to another and Betty begins to write to Morgan overseas but feels she is inadequate in her writing skills and asks Liz for help. With Betty's persuasive personality, Liz agrees and soon Morgan and Liz are writing meaningful, deep letters with Morgan picturing Betty while it is Liz he is really falling for. Betty makes a sudden patriotic, but possibly dangerous decision to join the Woman's Army Corp and in doing so, finds a real romance of her own. As LETTERS FROM HOME goes on, switching from battle fields to the home front, from the men to the women, McMorris writes with a personal touch that really keeps the reader "in the moment" and waiting to see which direction each character will go next. When the war ends, each of the women now has to come to terms with decisions they have made. What will happen when the men come home? Will Julia follow her dream or continue along the path she has started on? Will Liz be married safely to her childhood friend or take a chance on someone she thinks she has feelings for? What will become of Betty and who will she finally wind up with, if any? And what IF all the men don't come home? The ending stayed with me as it is one that left me thinking about each character and the choices they made. Was I surprised, you might ask? I will say this, war can change people and sometimes we have to ask if we really knew that person to begin with. The fact that Kristina McMorris has written with such depth and emotion, reflected in her characters, the ending, and the story overall. I think you will only know what I mean by reading LETTERS FROM HOME by Kristina McMorris and make your own judgment.

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  • Posted January 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is an engaging historical tale

    During the turmoil of WWII, Betty Cordell, Julia Renard and Liz Stephens become roommates in 1944 in Chicago. Each has different dreams about their future.

    Betty plans to avoid the mistakes her mom made; she will only marry someone affluent. Julia has a fabulous offer to intern at a renowned fashion design firm, but declines the chance as she waits for her soldier fiancé to come home to marry him. Liz ponders whether she truly wants to be a professor married to a politician after briefly meeting soldier Morgan McClain at the USO; his interest is with Betty; he asks her to exchange letters with him while he is overseas but Liz does it by pretending to be Betty.

    This is an engaging historical tale with a strong romantic underpinning. The key to the story line is the various background settings from Chicago to the European battlefields and a combat deployed field hospital in Dutch New Guinea; each brings alive the era in diverse ways. Fans will enjoy this fine WWII drama wondering how Morgan will react if he survives to come home to duplicity when the war is over.

    Harriet Klausner

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