cover image With Love, Wherever You Are

With Love, Wherever You Are

Dandi Daley Mackall. Tyndale, $15.99 trade paper (416p) ISBN 978-1-4964-2122-7

Mackall (My Boyfriends’ Dogs) provides a fictionalized account of her parents’ World War II marriage in this well-researched page-turner. Nurse Helen Eberhart had no intention of getting married, but when she enlists in the Army to care for the wounded in 1944, she meets lieutenant and doctor Frank Daley and her plans soon change. After a quick wedding in Chicago, the two are sent to different areas of Europe for what turns out to be the final year of the war. While they manage to arrange an occasional rendezvous, most of the time they are unaware of each other’s locations and maintain their relationship through letters, writing two or three times a day and waiting eagerly for the unpredictable mail to come through. The “Story Behind the Story” and discussion guide included in the back of the book offer a fascinating look at where real life ends and fiction begins. While one might expect a story written in homage and remembrance of one’s parents to be overly sentimental and idealized, Mackall has admirably resisted that urge. Instead, she has crafted memorable, complex characters who courageously face the tragedy of war and the difficulties of cultivating a bond while separated. While the real people behind the characters pack additional punch, Mackall’s heartbreaking narrative and precise prose alone will stay with readers long after the final page. (Mar.)