Lt. Mellie Blake is looking forward to beginning her training as a flight nurse. She is not looking forward to writing a letter to a man she's never met- even if it is anonymous and part of a morale-building program. Lt. Tom MacGilliver, an officer stationed in North Africa, welcomes the idea of an anonymous correspondence-he's been trying to escape his infamous name for years. As their letters crisscross the Atlantic, Tom and Mellie develop a unique friendship despite not knowing the other's true identity. When both are transferred to Algeria, the two are poised to meet face-to-face for the first time. Will they overcome their fears and reveal who they are, or will their future be held hostage by their pasts?
The reason I picked this book up in the first place was because Mellie was a flight nurse. Nursing is one of my favorite things to read about and my favorite Cherry Ames was the one in which she is a flight nurse. That being the case, I was elated to find a “deeper” book in the same setting. Nursing is still my favorite part of the story, yet as I read I grew to like it for more reasons than that. First, I loved the Christian element Mrs. Sundin put in, but still without being preachy as it flows so naturally in the letters between the pen-pals. Mellie has trouble with being shy and reserved, which I can relate to. Her shyness puts me in mind of another heroine who is shy, but who does not deal with it in such a satisfactory way (Valancy, I'm looking at you ;)). For one thing, Valancy runs away and Mellie deals with it right where she is. Another thing I enjoyed was the way Mrs. Sundin crafted the story with so many parallels between Tom and Mellie's story, etc. The romance was also well balanced with deeper themes. This book also made me “think” more than many books I have read. I picked up this book with high expectations and I am happy to say it did not disappoint!
Around the World in 365 Days: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Italy.