Memoirs of a Wartime Romance
by Jane Siegel Whitmore & Andrea Siegel  
Trafford Publishing

" is all wrong that they should rule you to the extent that they are removing the privilege of your being able to use your own mind..."

Both subjects in this tug-of-war romance are educated, mature adults in their early thirties. And yet, Edward Siegel, an Orthodox Jew and army doctor, seeks his family's approval before marrying his sweetheart of two years, Methodist army nurse Gretchen Boody. Subjected to haphazard assignments toward the end of World War II, these two lovers are revealed through their constant and prolific letter writing.

Edward's mother becomes critically ill every time their relationship is mentioned, and Edward is caught between being happy with the lady he loves or being the cause of his mother's potential illness and death. The irony isn't lost on Gretchen, who wonders how a mother could cause so much pain in an effort to "save" her son the potential scorn of not marrying a woman born into the same faith.

The letters provide some insight on women in the military and on general military politics. They also draw you into the romance and mores of the time. The reader cannot help but pull for the two characters. Because of their education, they are not the average soldier or nurse, but they do reveal a surprising tolerance and fortitude. If you are a bit of a voyeur or interested in World War II stories, you may find yourself swept up in this relationship.

Since the authors are really Gretchen and Edward as dictated through their letters, little can be said of the writing of their two daughters, who compiled it. One is left wondering what happened to the many friends Gretchen and Edward made during the war years. Likewise, the compilers tell us very little about themselves or their relationship with their parents or, more importantly, with their grandparents.

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