BOOK HUNGRY: i’ll be seeing you

who says you have to be crowded into the living room, kitchen, and/or dining room to hold a book club? we are ladies of the 21st century. we don’t need no stinkin’ couches. so pull up a blog and join in the conversation.

the members of the BOOK HUNGRY are (alphabetically): patty blount, kelly breakey, blake leyers, karla nellenbachand myself. we pick a book to read. we discuss via phone and/or google hangout and/or on email and/or on twitter. we post a review on our individual blogs the 3rd thursday of the month. click on their names above and enjoy.

this month’s BOOK HUNGRY selection is: 

I’LL BE SEEING YOU by suzanne hayes and loretta nyhan

what it’s about from porter square books: 

“I hope this letter gets to you quickly. We are always waiting, aren’t we? Perhaps the greatest gift this war has given us is the anticipation…”

It’s January 1943 when Rita Vincenzo receives her first letter from Glory Whitehall. Glory is an effervescent young mother, impulsive and free as a bird. Rita is a sensible professor’s wife with a love of gardening and a generous, old soul. Glory comes from New England society; Rita lives in Iowa, trying to make ends meet. They have nothing in common except one powerful bond: the men they love are fighting in a war a world away from home.

Brought together by an unlikely twist of fate, Glory and Rita begin a remarkable correspondence. The friendship forged by their letters allows them to survive the loneliness and uncertainty of waiting on the home front, and gives them the courage to face the battles raging in their very own backyards. Connected across the country by the lifeline of the written word, each woman finds her life profoundly altered by the other’s unwavering support.

A collaboration of two authors whose own beautiful story mirrors that on the page, I’ll Be Seeing You is a deeply moving union of style and charm. Filled with unforgettable characters and grace, it is a timeless celebration of friendship and the strength and solidarity of women.

my opinion:

there is something about the act of writing letters that is utterly charming to me and this is the third book i’ve read that’s utilized the letter writing forum to reveal an astonishing story. (the first being the GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY and the second DADDY LONG LEGS.) i think this form appeals to me because letter writing breeds a particular honesty and in the middle of that, there’s something tangible about the connectivity between these women.

it reminds me of my relationships with my book hungry gals — we’re using the technology at hand to communicate and cajole and teach and learn and laugh and connect. of course, we’re more likely to trade insults than recipes, but that’s just how we roll.

but back to the book, these two women are astonishing in their bravery, resilience, determination, humor, selfishness, unselfishness and strength of character. they both fall into and defy the stereotypes of their ages (rita is a bit older than newlywed glory) as they live and love and struggle. i adore rita and her cast of characters in iowa a bit more than glory and her team, but my not so tender feelings towards glory are redeemed during this won’t part i won’t tell you about because i don’t want to spoil anything, but basically, she earns my respect and gratitude and i’m talking like i know her. that’s how real these characters are.

i also loved learning how loretta and suzy wrote this. how did i learn this? loretta joined our conference call and dished the details. these two ladies “met” on social media and launched into this project much the same way glory and rita began. neither woman had met the other in person, but the tales and emotions and advice and respect grew as the letters flew back and forth.

long story short, this is a delightful book and you should read it.

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9 Responses to “BOOK HUNGRY: i’ll be seeing you”

  1. Karla Nellenbach Says:

    i did read it! haven’t written my review yet. i know i know. bad karla…

    anywho, i really enjoyed it once i got into it. I’m with you on Glory, all the way. and i just LOVED mrs. K to pieces. she cracked me up

    • abby mumford Says:

      mrs. K was great. rita was great. glory eventually was great. this story was great. in related news, i’m in need of a thesaurus.

  2. simplyblake Says:

    Great review, Abs! I especially like the part where you said, “…of course, we’re more likely to trade insults than recipes, but that’s just how we roll.” ;-) Seriously, it WAS a GREAT book.

  3. Sister J Says:

    This review has convinced me to add this to my reading list! Can’t wait to start :) Now if I could just find time to get to the library between work and picking up at daycare… :) xo!

    • abby mumford Says:

      you should go to the library post picking up at daycare. i know babymac would LOVE to help you pick out books. in related news, she got the mumford reading genes!!

      • Sister J Says:

        Unfortunately they are on opposite sides of town and our library closes too early to get there. This weekend should work though! Baby Mac definitely has the Mumford reading gene!! She loves reading! I don’t think she has met a book yet she didnt like. She is currently enthralled with all things Curious George thanks to you :) And we are working on ensuring Bubba Mac has the gene too…He is currently enjoying the Sandra Boynton books during his bedtime reading :) Once again Aunt Abby, thank you for introducing us to her and giving us her books! We love them!

        • abby mumford Says:

          oh my gosh, thank YOU for having kids so i had a reason to discover sandra boynton. she’s a clear favorite of mine and i’m neither with child or of an age where i should be reading those! she’s genius.

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