Lately, I’ve been trying to read more and spend less time on my computer. Books bring me so much more joy than an extra hour spent looking at various websites on the Internet – although I like doing that too – but it can be so difficult to tear yourself away from a screen that is beckoning you to stay connected for yet another Youtube video.
My Kindle has been a great help in my quest to read more again: I can buy new books while in my pyjamas at half past eleven at night. And my bookshelves are already overflowing so I can’t really buy several books at a book store and make my way through them slowly: I don’t have the space!
Today’s review is about I’ll Be Seeing You, written by Suzanna Hayes and Loretta Nyhan and published in 2013.
I’ll Be Seeing You is an epistolary novel set in the 40s in America. Two women – whose husbands have gone off to fight in the Second World War – begin a correspondence to talk about their lives during these difficult times. They are both very different but soon become fast friends and share many a secret with each other.
I love epistolary novels. I devoured The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society – more than once, actually – and this book is a lot like it, although there are fewer characters. I actually found that this story in its integrity was more realistic than The Guernsey Literary Society: there were less of the slightly unbelievable tidbits about the war and more everyday snatches from Glory and Rita’s lives.
I’ll Be Seeing You has been labelled a “feel good” novel, and while I love positive books, this one just didn’t lift my spirits. It’s cheerful at times and devastating at others, being set during the war and all. While I admired the characters’ ability to push through the bad times and be as positive as possible, the story made me feel very weary and tired. The war ruined so many lives.
I enjoyed this book, but it didn’t make me feel particularly cheerful. It did however make me feel slightly guilty about not always fully appreciating the fact that I have never known war.
Still, the whole idea of finding such a good friend through letter writing really appeals to me!
Which is one of the reasons I have been writing a lot more letters and postcards lately – but more about that later!
There is also one element about the book that I loved: the two authors had never met before the book was published! After having finished the novel, I read an interview at the back that said that they met via comments on blogs. They exchanged a few emails, spoke on the phone about each of their characters and then began emailing back and forth, in character!
Each author just made things up at they went along, and of course, because things sometimes just work out that way, Suzanna Hayes and Loretta Nyhan became friends before they even met. That part made me think about how amazing the Internet can be sometimes – and that is a thought that lifts my spirits!