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Letters from Home

Letters from Home

4.5 47
by Kristina McMorris

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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 exchange--cut short by the soldier's evident interest in Betty--but


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 exchange--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.

Beautifully rendered and deeply moving, Letters from Home is a story of hope and connection, of sacrifices made in love and war--and the chance encounters that change us forever.

Kristina McMorris is an award-winning author and graduate of Pepperdine University. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Letters from Home is her first novel.

Advance Praise For Letters From Home

"Letters from Home is an absolutely lovely debut novel filled with endearing characters and lively descriptions. Fans of World War II romantic fiction will definitely enjoy this fast-paced story." --Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author

"Nothing magnifies the intense passion and anxiety of romance and love so much as being in a time of war. Kristina McMorris admirably captures not only these emotions but the atmosphere of World War II in this page turning and enchanting novel." --Lois Battle, author of

Bed and Breakfastt

"An intimate, touching, and romantic story of the Greatest Generation." --Jill Barnett, New York Times bestselling author

"Letters from Home is an insightful portrait of the communion between the soldiers who fought for our country and those they left behind. A gripping and memorable story, it is a timeless lesson in love and loss and the moments that shape our lives." --Pam Jenoff, author of The Kommandant's Girl

"A tender and heartfelt glimpse of a time long past. While wholly original, it's filled with characters as beloved as your own grandparents. Propelled by the epic sweep of world war, yet warmed by intimate human moments, this story will linger in the reader's memory long after the last page is turned." --Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author

"A romantic, charming debut that evokes the World War II time period in wonderful detail. The likable characters and their varied intrigues kept me happily devouring pages until the end." �Ellen Baker, author of Keeping The House

"A great read. From beginning to end, Kristina McMorris spins a compelling tale of chemistry, love, deception, and the labyrinth of emotions that leads to the human heart." --James Michael Pratt, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Valentine

"An absolutely lovely debut novel." --Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This sweeping debut novel, told through letters and alternating points of view, is ambitious and compelling. During the turmoil of WWII, three Chicago roommates discover that matters of the heart cannot be controlled or planned. Betty Cordell hopes to avoid her mother's mistakes by marrying well. Julia Renard rejects a prestigious fashion internship in order to be waiting for her fiancé when he comes home from the war. Liz Stephens begins to question her future as a professor and a politician's wife as she corresponds with a soldier who thinks she's Betty. Deft description and solid research take readers to the trenches in Europe, a field hospital in Dutch New Guinea, and the glittering lights of Chicago society. Though McMorris's flowery prose sometimes teeters on the edge of hokey, this novel will appeal to historical fiction fans hungry for a romance of the "Greatest Generation." (Mar.)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
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Letters From Home 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 reviews.
crystal_fulcher More than 1 year ago
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.
JEM36 More than 1 year ago
Heart warming. Could not put down until finished.
_Rc More than 1 year ago
Letters From Home takes us back to 1944 where, amid the heartache of WWII, three young women explore issues of friendship, honesty, loss and the need to follow one's heart. Told with uncompromising attention to historical detail; McMorris successfully blurs the line between fact and fiction. Beautifully written with rich characters and a touch of romance; this timeless tale will touch readers from 18 to 108. This book opened up discussions with my parents about their own postcard courtship! It is a good story for pulling generations together. Good to share with family or reading groups.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I wish I had my dads letters home. He told me that he wrote home every chance .... that all he prayed for was to make it home. He met my mother after his service ... so I do not know what became of his letters. This story was beautiful. Although fiction, it touched my heart because of the many feelings expressed by those touched by the war. My father rarely spoke of his experiences in Europe. His death left many unanswered questions about his heroic service. Reading this story helped me feel him again. Loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this one. It made me see what my grandparents may have gone through during WWII. It was a great book. Makes me want to read more stories on WWII. It did have the romance factor, but gave me an insight to what life was like during that time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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...
Sarah Parmer More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable story that is set during world war 2. McMorris made it easy to fall in love with the characters and hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful love story and so much more, set during World War II. My parents were sweethearts during this time so I knew how important letters to each other while separated. I never really though about all of the ramafications the war caused. And most veterans that I have known never wanted to relive their experiences by talking about it. This novel kept my attention throughout and I couldn't put it down as I wanted to know what the ending would be. I was sad to see the novel come to a close. It kept me thinking long after what was to happen with Julia, Betty, Liz and Morgan. I highly recommend this.
PhoenixSummer More than 1 year ago
What a lovely debut novel from Kristina McMorris. Heartwarming and tender, it takes you on an epic journey through World War II, chronicling the lives and loves of four friends. Definitely a must read.
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Highly recommend if you enjoy stories from this era.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best. Book. In a very long time. Loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not stop reading this book!!! Such a wonderful story in the midst of a war!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great! the romance was so cute! I was instantly sucked into the story. The characters were so believable and the story line was excellent. I would definitely recommend this book.
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StaceyCarey More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing!! Truly amazing!! Makes me wish I lived back in that time, it was nice to see Betty grow up and mature while in the WAS and it was nice to see Liz and Morgan fall in love, the simplicity of relationships back then, and how it did not take forever for someone to know true love, I have that with my husband but nowadays that is a very rare thing. Was sad to see Charlie pass on, but as with any good story someone must meet a tragic end. I wish that Julia and Ian would have maybe helped each other heal over Christians death, they had a very good chemistry. Loved this book, and I would recommend it to everyone!!!!
MarionMarchetto_author More than 1 year ago
Kristina McMorris has hit a home run out of the ball park with this, her debut novel. Letters From Home centers around three female friends who are all out for the evening at a USO club in Chicago in 1944. Liz who is almost engaged to her childhood friend Dalton, has her life mapped out; Julia who is engaged to sailor Christian and who gives up a shot at being a fashion editor for Vogue; and Betty the blonde bombshell singer at the USO who is every guy's fantasy but who is searching for more to her life than slinging hash at a neighborhood diner. Enter the McLain brothers, Morgan and Charlie, who are shipping out the next morning. At first glance Morgan falls for the sedate brunette Liz but ends up 'saving' Betty by pretending to be her fiance. As a thank you, Betty gives him her photo with her address on it and invites him to write to her. Unbeknownst to anyone else, Liz deals with her strong instant attraction to Morgan but quashes it when she spots him in a clinch with Betty. That is where the story begins. Where it gets interesting is when Morgan, now in Europe, writes to Betty. Betty hasn't given him a second thought and is cajoles Liz into writing a return letter for her. Liz caves in, writes the letter, and signs Betty's name. An exchange of letters between Morgan and Betty/Liz ensues for the remainder of the war. The correspondents open their hearts to each other and in time fall in love; Liz with Morgan and Morgan with Betty. The author has woven a time-honored story with well developed characters that we learn to care about from the first page. Her descriptions of war-time events and military hospitals is spot-on. The reactions of the characters to their personal dilemmas makes the reader empathize with their choices and the consequences. Ms. McMorris shifts our attention from the European to the Pacific Theaters of War seamlessly. We are never lost or left hanging. While Ms. McMorris used the real-life correspondence between her own grandparents as inspiration for this story, I found myself comparing her characters to my own parents who were married shortly before my father was drafted. I was drawn into the story and couldn't put the book down - in fact I resented any intrusion on my reading. I heartily recommend Letters From Home to anyone who had relatives in WWII and to readers of historical fiction. I hope to read more from this promising author.
Nicole Brewer More than 1 year ago
This is her first book! She has another one coming out next year sometime! So awesome and excited for my cousin! It was a great love story! Wish her the best!
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