Book of the Week #44

What There Was Not to Tell: A Story of Love and War by Edie Clark (Dublin, NH: Benjamin Mason Books, 2013)

Edie Clark, best known for her Mary's Farm column in Yankee Magazine, has crafted a tale of love, war, and chain reactions from the letters her parents wrote during WWII.  
"Whenever Edie Clark asked her father about World War II, he would reply, 'There isn’t much to tell.' But there were bags and boxes full of letters. And the story she found, when she read these letters after her parents died, was as rich and strange and heartbreaking as a fairy tale.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful young woman and the two young men who loved her. Both of them wanted to marry her; both went off to war, one to Africa and the other to the Pacific. When she finally decided which man she would wed, she wrote to tell him of her decision but the letter came back stamped 'Deceased.'
After the war, she married the other, who knew he was not her first choice, but he wanted her still. They had two daughters, who grew up with three sets of grandparents – their mother’s parents, their father’s parents, and the parents of the young  man who had been killed.
They lived not happily ever after, but in a perpetual state of longing. 'My father longed for my mother and my mother longed for a man named Tom,' writes their daughter, whose own longing for answers led her on a quest. In her travels, she not only finds what happened to Tom, but she also comes to understand the devastating effect that war, any war, can have, not only on the families who suffer loss but on those who supposedly come home unscathed. She learns that no one returns from war unharmed. And that, after all, her parents had a love story all their own." -- Publisher's blurb

Clark will be appearing at local bookstores in the coming week to read from her book.

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