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Readers' Comments for I'll Be Seeing You

In May, a select group of readers who participated in one of our special Two & Two contests won copies of I’LL BE SEEING YOU by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan, who, like the character Glory and Rita, have never actually met in real life! The story takes place in January of 1943, and it’s about Glory Whitehall and Rita Vincenzo, who 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 as their letters allows them to survive the loneliness and uncertainty of waiting on the home front. Take a look at some of the readers' comments to give you more insight into this story about love, loss and friendship.

Jeanette M.
This book took me back to my toddler years as I was born in 1943. I’LL BE SEEING YOU is a window into the art of letter writing. Perhaps I just like books with unique devices, but the authors’ use of letter writing to build the characters and carry the story was a real window into a sad but exciting period in American history.

This wonderful and memorable novel was captivating and engrossing. I lost myself within the pages of this beautiful and well-written novel as I followed the characters and their lives. This heartwarming novel, set during my favorite era, World War II, was emotional and unforgettable. Filled with love, loss, hope and enduring difficulties, I was entranced throughout this novel by the strength of the characters. Letters are so meaningful, and this resonates greatly with me since I grew up learning to write letters and miss them being the only means of communication. This historical fiction novel felt so true to life and gave me hope.  

I very much enjoyed this book. I liked the contrast of women who were so different from each other --- geographically, socio-economically, their ages and the ages of their children forming such a strong friendship and bond. I would definitely recommend it to others who enjoy novels about women. My copy indicated that it had a redesigned cover. I did not feel like the cover was a good representation of the content of the book.

I read the book as soon as I got it and loved it very much! It's such a powerful, moving story, and written so beautifully. I felt like I knew both women and wanted them to be real so I could meet them and hug them. I also loved the cute little pack of tissues that were included with the book and the editor's note on them. Too bad I didn't have them on me when I was on the bus and sobbing into the book.

This is a fantastic book about two women waiting for their men to come home from war who forge a wonderful friendship. I would recommend it!

I was hesitant at first that this book would be too much chick lit for me. My qualms were gone by the end of the first chapter. This book hooked me! I liked both women and wanted to find out where the plot carried them. Great read! Thank you for giving me characters that I cared about.

Ireally did enjoy I’LL BE SEEING YOU and have since passed it on to two members of the book club I am in. We all love the random recipes included in the letters and have decided to each choose one to make for our book club meeting in September. Because of the letter format of the book, it was very easy and enjoyable to read. Plus, it gave a lot of insight into the time period. I will and have recommended it to all my reading friends.

I thoroughly enjoyed I’LL BE SEEING YOU. It was one of those books that I delayed finishing because I knew that my contact with Rita and Glory would end. It was interesting to add dimension to what females went through while their men were away fighting. I also liked the storyline of Rita's neighbor and how she coped as an immigrant with a husband as an officer in the German army.  

The added dimension of the authors not having met face-to-face intrigued me also. I want to continue to follow-up on interviews to see if they've met yet!

I thought that Harlequin only published romance novels, but this story is not a romance. THIS story was my kind of story.

Authors Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan wrote this fictional story based on their own story. Two women in different states and in different age groups become pen pals --- pen pals of war. The book is written entirely in letter format; letters written to each other, as well as letters written to their loved ones who are serving in World War II.

Rita is the elder of the two, whose husband and son are both serving overseas. Glory is a young mother with another child on the way; her husband is also away serving in the war. These women share their lives, fears, thoughts, stories and even recipes. I suppose you could say there is romance, as we hear about both women’s relationships with their loved ones, but mostly this is a story about friendship.

There are times when I forgot that the story is taking place in the early 1940s, as the story could take place today, except it would probably be emails as opposed to good old-fashioned mail. I was drawn to the characters and so wanted them to be able to meet each other. Because the story is told in letter format, it was easy for the authors to reveal the back-story of these two characters. All that was needed to make the story interesting was what these two say in their letters. They share their past and their current experiences. Romance, parenting, tragedy, hardship and surprises are all part of their lives and, consequently, part of ours. The reader can truly relate.

This is a wonderfully touching story. The art of letter writing is all but extinct due to the evolution of computer technology. It really is too bad. The friendship built between two people who never see each other is heartwarming. A truly wonderful read!

Shannon R.
I just loved I’LL BE SEEING YOU --- I didn't want it to end. I felt like I really knew Glory and Rita through their letters and I admired the friendship that grew between the two ladies. I really enjoy books that use this form of narration.

This time in history was so full of sadness and tragedy --- it was wonderful to see something good bloom during the same time.

Lenita V.
What a marvelous book! It's easy to see why it has been compared to THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY, as they are both written in epistolary style and cover the same era. However, while they are equally well written, they differ in practically every way.

I am old enough to remember World War II and, although I was just a kid, I was part of the letter-writing blitz. I had numerous uncles and cousins overseas and still have letters they wrote back to me.

Glory and Rita are as familiar as neighbors. They begin as strangers, correspond for years without meeting, and end up lifelong friends. They're conflicted but lovable characters, which goes for their families and friends, too. All the tensions, frustrations and loneliness of the women at home are thoroughly delineated.

It's hard to believe this is a debut novel written by two women who had also not met face-to-face. I feel that Rita and Glory's story has just begun and if Suzanne and Loretta felt inclined to write a sequel --- I'd be one very happy reader.

Betty F.
I’LL BE SEEING YOU is one of the best books I've read in a while. You know a book is really good when you're halfway through and are torn between wanting to know how the story ends and not wanting the book to be finished.

I learned that the authors had not met while writing this novel, but the story developed as they wrote emails back and forth --- a very different kind of collaboration, which somehow worked!

The story is about two women (different ages and in different parts of the US) who are strangers writing letters to each other during World War II. Over the course of time, the pen pals write and reveal deep, personal feelings about the war and their fears, as well as stories about their families, friends, neighbors and communities.

Rich in detail and thoroughly enjoyable, this will be my #1 suggestion for my Book Club.

Some stories take me a few pages or chapters to really immerse myself in. This book had me hooked on the first line. I am in love with this format and how well the authors did it. This story is told through letters, during the war, between two women who have never met. Glory was given the address of Rita --- both on different coastlines --- because they both had husbands fighting in the war.

You’re bouncing between two women’s lives as they endure the same waiting game --- waiting for the latest mail from their husbands to reassure them they’re still alive or waiting for the dreaded telegram to tell them they’re not. They trade recipes back and forth, with ideas on how to “spice up” the limited ration amounts they are allowed to purchase. They trade advice; they lean on each other during hard moments and whisper secrets they wouldn’t share with anyone else.

I was thrilled to learn that not only was the book written in the point of view through letters, but that is literally how this book was written. Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan, the amazing authors behind this book, have never met --- same as Rita and Glory. They found each other online and emailed back and forth with the idea of writing a book together. Then one day, Suzanne wrote an email to Loretta in Glory’s voice, the first letter in this book. When Loretta wrote back as Rita, they started forming this book.

I couldn’t put it down; I read it from start to finish in three days. I am so excited to pass this book on to a friend to share the magic I just witnessed. I think both of these ladies have a bright future in writing.

Thanks for the book. It was a very interesting read. I was amazed at how strong friendships can develop just through letter writing. I was wondering if that was common among war wives --- to do that. The characters were very real and I thoroughly enjoyed reading how the friendship developed to the point where they were there for each other even when they were miles apart. Great book! I also enjoyed looking over the war time recipes.

Beth C.
While I did enjoy this novel --- set as a series of letters between two women who share all, but have never met --- I didn't find it to be the "tearjerker" that the packet of tissues, provided with the book, implied. When reading about women who are waiting for husbands/sons/boyfriends who are away at war, one expects that at least one of the military men may not make it home. One also expects that severe injuries could be part of the equation. So when those things happened in this book (trying not to give away anything about the actual story), I wasn't emotionally torn.

This was an interesting way to write a novel. I gather that the two authors actually wrote the book in much the same way as their characters shared their lives. It worked quite well and each of the main characters, Glory and Rita, had a clearly defined voice and strong personalities.