Compiled by Kathy Flynn De Caxiola with Luz Caxiola Flynn and Mica Caxiola Flynn
BearManor Media, $49.95, 692 pages
A collection of letters is always interesting to read. You never know what you are going to find inside. What nugget of information that might not have been relevant sixty years ago is often relevant today. That is why it was a joy to read this collection of World War II letters between Chuck Flynn and his wife Jane Flynn. Soon after the start of the war, Chuck joined the Navy and was on the USS Gamble, a mine laying ship. Jane joined a couple of small USO tours. One was in the Pacific and the other was around hospitals in the United States. But the real joy was reading letters between these two people that were meant only for them. They did not write them to have a place in history; they did not know they would be collected and published in a book. But it provides a window into the world; a window into the United States during war time, from the gas rationing, hospital visits, and trying to communicate by unreliable letter delivery. From Chuck’s perspective, we get a sense of the long days on watch, the long periods of boredom followed by action for a short period of time, the idea of censorship in letters, and going for days at a time with no letter.
These letters will help paint a picture for researchers of how two people lived during World War II.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter