Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: Dear Evelyn

By Lynn Willoughby

Dear Evelyn ~ Kathy Page

Harry and Evelyn meet when leaving the library in London, and he walks her home.  It is just as Britain is preparing to go to war against Germany. 

The first part of the book is mostly the letters Harry writes to Evelyn from his long ride on the troop ship to North Africa, through his years at the front.  It was fascinating.

We also learn about Evelyn’s time during the war, raising a baby, working at a farm, leading her own life and making all the necessary decisions.  

Post war, neither of them seem to understand what it was like for the other in that time apart (Didn’t they read the letters, I wondered?).  The marriage goes on, two more daughters are born and Harry continues to give Evelyn, his love, everything she wants, however silly or wrong her demands are.  “There was a line between strong-minded and outrageous that Evelyn now crossed with increasing frequency.”  As the girls grow up they continually tell him to stand up for himself.  But he can never cross Evelyn.  “…he could bend, she could not.”

This novel is heart-breaking.  I wanted to slap both Evelyn and Harry.  It continues into their elderly years and while I didn’t like either of them, I had to finish.  “The characters oscillate between tenderness and profound despair.” – Toronto Star

  • The Two of Us
  • Paradise & Elsewhere
  • ……………and others

Who Knew?

In January, 1942 when Tobruk fell, more than 30,000 Allied soldiers were taken prisoner.  Rommel also took possession of the stockpiles of fuel, ammunition and vehicles.

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