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Letters from Home

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,000 Ratings  ·  361 Reviews
Inspired by the true story of her grandparents' courtship during World War II, McMorris delivers a heartwarming debut in which three female friends embark on a sweeping journey of deceptive romances and heart-wrenching tragedies as they experience love forged through letters.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Avon Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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In our age of email, text messaging, and high-tech cell phones that condense entire lives into tiny gadgets formerly reserved for spies, Kristina McMorris’ debut novel, Letters From Home, is a welcome dose of nostalgia, a love letter in itself for a simpler time, when patience truly was a virtue and a hand-scrawled note was treasured above all else.

The novel chronicles the radically diverse wartime adventures of four individuals: roommates Liz Stephens, Betty Cordell, and Julia Renard, and Priv
Although this isn’t a true epistolary novel (one that is written as a series of documents, usually letters), the plot is driven in an epistolary sense as the narrative is built around a series of letters. Most of the correspondence takes place between Liz, a female college student and Morgan, a young soldier she meets briefly at a USO dance in Chicago during WW II. They form an instant mutual attraction, but through a series of misunderstandings, she ends up writing to him under the guise of her ...more
Melissa Snider
Jul 13, 2012 Melissa Snider rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me start this off by saying I read this book front to back in 2 days. It was that good. I found myself staying up until 2 am both nights because I just needed to know how the story unfolded. I tried to read it about a year ago, got a few pages in, and put it down. This time I was fresh off reading "Next to Love" by Ellen Feldman and wanted another historical fiction (romance) set during WWII. Truth is, I will pick up any book concerned with our Greatest Generation...

What I particularly loved
Molly (Cafinated Reads)
I absolutely fell in love with this debut! Kristina McMorris has definitely got what it takes to hook her readers from the start and keep them hooked long into the night, until they reach that very last page. Her style is absolutely stunning as she writes of love and war, and even mixes it with some laughter here and there.

The characters she created are life like and complex. They all became my favorite and they all became my family for the duration of reading this novel. Each set of characters
Feb 11, 2011 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book takes place during World War II.It is the story of three women who have been friends since childhood.The story is through letters and each of the three womens' points of view. It takes you from the trenches of war,to a field hospital in Dutch New Guinea to high society Chicago.
It’s 1944 in Chicago, in the midst of World War II. Three young women Liz, Betty, and Julia, friends and roommates, are each coming to a crossroads in their lives. Liz is supposed to marry her childhood sweetheart, Dalton, but now she’s not so sure, especially after she meets Morgan, a soldier, at a USO dance, and feels an immediate connection… but he’s being shipped out the next day. Julia’s meant to marry the love of her life, Christian, who’s also overseas, but is offered a prestigious fashio ...more
Jul 16, 2013 Glenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn't need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she's set to marry her childhood sweetheart. Yet something happens the moment Liz glimpses Morgan McClain. They share only a brief exchange--cut short by the soldier's evident interest in Betty--but Liz can't forget him. Betty asks Liz to pen a letter to Morgan for her and then she leaves to join the WAC and forgets all about him. Liz contin ...more
Kathleen Kelly
Mar 23, 2011 Kathleen Kelly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is inspired by the author's own grandparents. It takes place primarily in 1944-45 in Illinois, Dutch New Guinea and France. Brothers Morgan and Charlie McClain who are in Chicago, before shipping out to France, go to a club and there they meet Liz, Betty and Julia. Each chapter is told in a different characters voice and we learn more about each of them. A lot of this story is told in letter format between "Betty" and Morgan. Betty had originally asked Liz to pen a letter to Morgan an ...more
Feb 24, 2011 Ing rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Synopsis:
Liz Stephens is at a crossroad in her life. She has been in a relationship with her childhood friend, Dalton Harris. For the most part, Liz is content in this relationship. During a chance meeting at a USO dance, Liz meets Morgan McClain an enlisted soldier who will be shipped off to war the next morning. In that brief moment in time, Liz feels such a strong connection with Morgan that will shake her up and make her question her relationship and all that she knows. A misunderstandin
Feb 21, 2011 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed Kristina McMorris's book very much. Here is my review:

Set during World War II, from Chicago to the battles waging in Europe, from a USO club to a military field hospital, Kristina McMorris has created a moving story in LETTERS FROM HOME. This narrative was inspired by the true love story of her own grandparents’ romance and how their correspondence during the war resulted in their eventual loving union. Revolving around three female characters, LETTERS FROM HOME will grab you from the
Letters from Home's premise of three female roommates and their relationships to each other, the War and the men in their lives was great. I wanted to like this book and there were moments in it that I really enjoyed and made me keep reading. However, I found the characters to be flat. Maybe it was that the author tried to do too much with too many characters so I wasn't captivated by any of them. I found Liz to be somewhat boring an predictable. I think the stories surrounding Julia and Betty w ...more
Delilah Marvelle
What I loved about this book was that it was more than a love story. It was a friendship story between women trying to be strong in an era that tried to strip them of not only that strength but their identity. Beautifully written, I felt like I was reliving the past as it really might have been.
Feb 17, 2011 Jodi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got swept away by the what ifs of this book. What if you met and lost your true love on the same day? What if you really weren't the person you'd been pretending to be? What if you wanted to change but no one else wanted you to change? And of course the World War II era just added to the romance.
Feb 26, 2016 Arlene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lovely, lovely read. The joys of receiving snail mail...precious. I found myself jotting down quotes in the middle of reading this book.

- the power of the written word was what she revered, how thoughts on paper could change your perspective, and, on occasion, your life.

- courage isn't the trait of those trying to be heroes, it lies in the ones who, inspite of being afraid, find the strength inside them to continue on.

It's odd,isn't it? People die every day and the world goes on like nothing hap
Elisabeth Naughton
So much history, so much emotion. This is an author to definitely be on the look out for.
May 08, 2015 Nolan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshare
One of the strongest motivations for me to read this book is the memories I have of my parents. They were members of the Greatest Generation, and their quiet but remarkable lives continue to uplift and influence mine constantly although they are no longer alive. So because of their examples, I'm naturally going to gravitate to a book that depicts members of their generation in times of love and war. This book depicts those times powerfully and ever so well.

Liz, Betty, and Julia are roommates in
Vaughn Roycroft
Apr 09, 2011 Vaughn Roycroft rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ever Know a WWII Vet? Do you have any relations, living or deceased, who served in World War II? If you think not, are you sure? After all, over 16 million Americans served in uniform during the war. That’s not to mention the millions who worked to arm, equip, transport, or otherwise support them. And this at a time when the population was less than half today’s; about 139 million. Chances are you are recently descended from someone greatly affected by this monumental conflict.

Have you ever wond
Alyce (At Home With Books)
Letters From Home is the story of three girlfriends, their boyfriends, and how the war drastically changes all of their lives. The main characters of the book are Liz and Morgan (a soldier), who are writing letters back and forth to each other. The special twist to the story is that Morgan thinks he is writing to Betty. The story bounces back and forth between the girls at home and Morgan at the front lines. Betty and Julia’s stories are told as subplots, and each of their stories leaves you wan ...more
Hallie Sawyer
Dec 18, 2011 Hallie Sawyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hallie by: Erika Robuck
LETTERS FROM HOME, published in March 2011 by Kensington Books, is set in 1944 Chicago. The story begins with three roommates, Liz, Betty, and Julia, as women on the cusp of their adult lives. Julia is waiting for her fiancé to return from the war, Liz is getting ready to marry her childhood sweetheart, and Betty has her sights set on joining the USO as a singer. However, things in life don't always happen according to plan.

Liz agrees to pen a letter for Betty to a young serviceman, Morgan McCla
Mar 15, 2011 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of historical fiction and when I read that "Letters From Home"was inspired by the love letters of the authors grandparents I was totally hooked.

Set during WWII, the story revolves around three young ladies Liz, Betty and Julia,who have been best friends since they were thrown together as lab partners in freshman science.The three of them live in Elizabeth (Liz) Stephens grandparents home. Each have their own aspirations in life, Liz plans on marrying her childhood friend Dalton,
Jun 12, 2012 Adriana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
Despite the 3 star rating, I really, really liked this story. But I'm not giving it a higher rating because I felt it could have been so much better. There were essentially four central characters in Letters from Home. Liz, Julia, and Betty, three housemates, and Morgan, the GI they all meet the night before he ships out to Europe. Ms. McAllister gave all three equal time, but I felt the story would have worked better if she had focused on Morgan and the girl he exchanged correspondence with, th ...more
Connie Cox
Jul 01, 2012 Connie Cox rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
love, Love LOVE this book.
I've always skittered away from the WWII era. My parents were teenager during that time and my mother talks of it with great nostalgia. She is 81 years old now, and is still taken in by all the propoganda. My Viet Nam era head just couldn't handle her romanticizing, so I avoided that whole significant piece of history.

Until now.....
Kristina McMorris has written a novel of war time emotions that rings of truth, sincerity and bravery for both those who fought and for thos
Feb 17, 2011 Robyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There comes a time when we each must weigh our obligations and values against our heart’s true yearning. For Liz, Julia, and Betty that time is 1944, and the world is at war.

Letters From Home takes us on a journey of the heart. A seamlessly woven timeline reveals the story of three young women struggling with their choices in love and personal expression. Will Julia abandon her heart’s calling to marry her soldier? Will Betty overcome her self-judgments and rise to become something more? Will L
This was a good book, but it took me a while to get into it, and I had a hard time keeping all the characters straight. The beginning is pretty slow, and the three main female characters all seemed to have similar voices. The story pick up halfway through, and the characters had differentiated themselves based on their experiences at least, so I found myself eager to read the last half of the book. The letters between Liz and Morgan were beautifully written, and made me wish people still wrote l ...more
Apr 27, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sue by: Stefanie
Shelves: wwii
I really enjoyed this story of three roommates in Chicago during WWII. They meet Morgan at a USO dance the night before he ships out and although he has a connection with Liz, a misunderstanding gets him an address and invite to write from Betty. She asks Liz to answer the letter for her and they begin a heartfelt correspondence that will change both their lives, as Morgan falls in love with "Betty", the author of the letters. Julia has a fiance and a possible career and has to make some choices ...more
I found this one to be rather slow paced at first. The author shifted POV at the beginning of each chapter. The shifting from character to character made it difficult for me to remember details about each one as it was easy to get them mixed up. Finally I got on track and began to read with enjoyment. The second half was better than the first half.
The story begins in 1944 when a young soldier is about to depart for war. Betty gives him permission to write her but then she asks Liz to write in he
Apr 30, 2011 Dianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love reading about the 1940's.
It's hard to believe this is her first novel and I will be reading her next one!
It was great to read a book set in the 40's That was primarily set in the US instead of Europe you could almost hear the big band music in the background and see them dancing at the USO as you read. This is one of the few books that I have read recently that I have liked all the characters. The book flows so well that you almost fell like you are with them as they go about their lives
Mar 30, 2016 Barb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is built around a series of letters that the authors grandmother had about her grandfather. Liz meets Morgan, a young soldier at a USO dance in Chicago during WW II. She goes to the bathroom and when she comes out, her roommate Betty is dancing with Morgan so Liz left heartbroken.
Aug 11, 2015 J. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good story for those who love the letter trope featuring WWII.
Wanda Gibbons
Jan 04, 2015 Wanda Gibbons rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My sister told me about this book and I borrowed a digital copy from the library before we hung up the phone so I could read it on my iPad. Liked how the characters and story lines were woven together. A look at life back in the States as well as for soldiers during WW11. I copied the following from

Chicago, 1944. Liz Stephens has little interest in attending a USO club dance with her friends Betty and Julia. She doesn't need a flirtation with a lonely serviceman when she's set to
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2016 Reading Chal...: Letters from Home 1 12 Sep 03, 2015 07:55PM  
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KRISTINA MCMORRIS is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author and the recipient of more than twenty national literary awards, as well as a nomination for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA’s RITA Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction. Inspired by true personal and historical accounts, her works of fiction have been published by Kensington Books, Penguin Random ...more
More about Kristina McMorris...

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“It’s odd, isn’t it? People die every day and the world goes on like nothing happened. But when it’s a person you love, you think everyone should stop and take notice. That they ought to cry and light candles and tell you that you’re not alone.” 170 likes
“Life is too short not to say how you feel to the people you love.” 35 likes
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