Full Disclosure: The author sent me a copy of her book to review on my blog.
I am a fan of anything in genealogy that makes people come to life. Things like diaries, letters, postcards, scrapbooks, even candid photos do just that. They give personality to an ancestor that we only knew from records and they seem rather static and far-away that way. To have something that makes an ancestor’s personality shine is a rare treasure!
Deborah Sweeney holds one of these incredible collections with the letters that her grandparents lovingly wrote to each other during World War II. The two wrote to each other nearly every day while Roscoe Yegerlehner served as a doctor in the Navy. The letters span from his initial station in Chicago, to Virginia, to California, and finally to the South Pacific. I really enjoyed some of the outdated language(that Sweeney kindly translated!) along with some of the medical talk going back and forth in the letters. Even if you have no connection to the Navy, Indiana, or any of the places where Roscoe ventures, you still find yourself wanting to know more about these two people. I loved the chance to get to know Roscoe and Gladys and their families. Although this family wasn’t a big name in the war, their experiences make them more poignant and more real because they are the everyday, everywhere couple that experienced this war first hand.
These letters may span what seems to be a short time but I still found myself anxiously waiting for when Roscoe would finally write back after he was shipped out. Then, when Gladys finally had their baby, I read a bit more furiously to see how he would respond! Sweeney leaves you with a cliffhanger on that one and now I can’t wait for the second book to come out so I can read his reaction!
These letters really make you appreciate the way technology works today. Today in our world of cell phones, internet, texting, etc. we have a way of connecting nearly instantly. Although those overseas in the military can’t always connect as easily as that, I’ve seen many a video of a husband watching the birth of his child from overseas through the use of technology. Amazing to see how far we’ve come! This wonderful book gives a glimpse of what that would have been like without this technology; it makes it very real how long letters took to get to their destination and one can imagine the anxiety associated with waiting for the next letter.
Overall, this set of letters is a great and quick read! It’s a wonderful glimpse into a world I knew very little about and into a family I now wish to know more about. I can’t wait for the next installment!
I have two copies of the book that I wish to give away! I am using Viralsweep to help me keep track of everyone who enters. So click on the widget and enter your email address. Please make sure it is a valid email address as that is where I’ll be contacting you if you win! This is for U.S. residents only and you can earn more entries by sharing on some social media sites. So share and have fun! 🙂
This contest will run from today until 1 May at 12am EST. I will announce the winners 1 May around 12:00pm EST.