The title of this book is so fitting. Told completely through correspondence sent and unsent, as well as newspaper articles and editorials, the story unfolds just as much from what is written as what is left unsaid between the lines.
Joanna Berglund reluctantly returns to her hometown leaving behind her language studies at the University of Minnesota to fulfill the requirements of her scholarship with patriotic service working as a translator for a German POW camp in her hometown. Joanna has a gift for language, and a passion to take her education as far as she can, she can be stubborn and blunt, which often puts her at odds with the townspeople of which her father is mayor. She writes many letters over the course of the book, but the ones that form the framework of the story are the ones between her and her dear friend Peter Ito, a second generation Japanese American, who is serving his country as a language teacher for military intelligence.
Peter is easily my favorite character in this book, he takes things as they come, he loves his country, but struggles with how America has treated him and his family. He is the perfect temper to Joanna's flame, I loved how they both encourage each other and bring out the best in each other. I admired his hope, honesty, and strong faith in God.
Compelling and well executed, I was skeptical when I first learned that the story would be told completely through letters, but it works well in this story, and I liked that it left parts to be filled in by my imagination. I loved how Joanna is most honest in her letters to Peter, and that this book addresses the tough questions that Joanna struggles with, like prejudice, justice, and loving our enemies. In short I liked that she had questions, and challenges the pat answers. Everything comes together with a stunning ending that had me glued to the page.
Overall, a worthy read that stuck with me long after I'd turned the last page, with a hero and heroine that I could cheer for throughout. I will definitely be reading more books from this author in the future!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.