He and she met, fell madly in love and wrote decades of cherished love letters . . . proof that the heart still matters, on paper

Perhaps nothing is as sweet and heartfelt as a love letter. Writing them is a lost art . . . in this frenzied society, couples would rather email and text thoughts of affection and love, often punctuated with one of those ugly, rude heart-shaped icons.  Does anyone even know how to write in longhand?

And so we introduce you to Bob and Mariellen, a young man and woman who met at a USO dance in the summer of 1942. She was a college student at UCLA; he was a college student training as an aviation cadet. It was the onset of World War II, and fell madly in love before he was shipped to the South Pacific. They saw each other almost every weekend through the summer and fall, marrying that winter, before Bob was shipped overseas.

And so we introduce you to Letters Across the Pacific: A Love Story in the Time of War (BookLocker, $18.99). This is the story is about lovers and their lives, lives lived mostly through letters. It is a story written by the person who knew them well: Daughter April.

Their love letters are time capsules. We glimpse a marriage during the ’40s, during time in the South Pacific during WWII. We read slang and military jargon. We hear longing on both sides. We listen while they write of babies born and thunderstorms raging.

As time went on, Bob shares his feelings about phone calls, mail and the war. Mariellen continues to be supportive but also deals with the effects of staying home alone, pregnancy and her haunting concern for her husband’s safety.

Through WWII and the Korean War, they continue to navigate their lives through letters. Children arrive. Love endures.

The letters were saved and treasured by both of them. The letters traveled the world. And they survived. This story is the true account of their lives, told by them and related by their daughter.

We cannot think of a sweeter, more touching valentine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *