In With Every Letter by Sarah Sundin, Lt. Mellie Blake, a shy Filipino nurse, is forced to participate in an anonymous letter writing campaign to boost the morale of the troops during World War II. Mellie’s letters come into the hands of Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an engineer who is eager to find someone who doesn’t know about his past and infamous name. Through their correspondence, they develop a friendship where they are able to encourage and help each other to overcome their weaknesses.

Mellie, who grew up with her globe-trotting father, never learned how to make friends. Her father’s old-fashioned ideas contribute to Mellie’s awkwardness. But in her flight nurse training, she must learn to fit in or face losing her position. Trying to change, Mellie opens up to two girls in her unit. When Mellie overhears her new friends gossiping about her, she, in anger, exposes their secrets. Other girls in her unit are also causing trouble for Mellie, compounding her troubles. Can Mellie forgive others even those who are her enemies?

The son of a renown murderer, Tom lives in the shadow of his father’s sins. Tom never wants to be seen as the “bad” guy, so he allows the men in his unit  to take advantage of him. He is sociable, but he has never had a real friend until he meets Harry. Harry, because of his race, has also been judged by society. The two form a friendship but the new relationship is jeopardized when a sniper begins shooting. Because of Tom’s fear of being like his father, he endangers the lives of others. Tom realizes his mistake, but it is nearly too late. Will Tom become a true leader and earn the respect of his men?

Through Mellie and Tom’s experiences, the reader is given valuable lessons. One is how our past and insecurities can hinder us by leading us into false assumptions about ourselves and others, as well as how we see certain situations. Other lessons teach the reader how to develop true friendships and the traits needed to be a good leader. The story gives an example of how God can use us even when we are young. As a child Mellie is lonely, so she cuts out pictures from newspapers of people and prays for them. God leads her to pray for Tom even before she knows him.

We are recommending the historical romance With Every Letter for the College-age/Working Adult. It is the first in the Wings of the Nightingale series and is published by Revell, September 1, 2012.

J. D. Rempel is a graduate of Simpson College. She is endeavoring to pen a preteen science fiction novel and an adult fantasy series. She loves to read and started a library at her church. She enjoys working with her husband in youth ministry and has two dwarf hamsters, Lucy and Suzy.

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