Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack by Laura Lynn Ashworth is a World War II love story told through the letters of Sal, a radio operator aboard the U.S.S. Signet and his lady love back home in Chicago, Loretta.
The story opens in January 1943 as Sal begins to write back home to Loretta who is 16. At the beginning, their letters are filled with life back home, popular music of the day and movies. They debate who is better: Glen Miller or Artie Shaw, two of the biggest band leaders of the 1940s. As the years go by and the war heats up in the Pacific, the letters from home become fewer and fewer. As February 1945 comes around, Loretta writes to Sal but gets no reply from him (as the reader knows that February 1945 is the battle of Iwo Jima). As book approaches March 1945, Loretta’s letters stop, Sal keeps writing in desperation as life on board is wearing thin. He continues to write even as his free time is greatly limited as the Signet approaches Okinawa. The story closes with a letter from Loretta after months of silence.
I really enjoyed this story and I highly recommend it. I could easily imagine life back home for Loretta as she grew up in a world at war and Sal, at sea, who is trying to stay close to home when he is so far away. Ms. Ashworth really compared the era of the 1940s: the music, the movies, the slang. Even though my grandparents didn’t met until after the war, I found myself imagining what if this was my grandfather writing home from war to my grandmother. The reader gets to see Sal and Loretta fall in love, have lover’s spats and make up in letter all awhile aware of the timeline of the war and where Sal is at that moment. Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack brings a human view of the events of World War II. I also liked that the author, Ms. Ashworth, self-published this book so that she could control the proceeds. She gives 10% of the proceeds to the USO (United Service Organizations) and the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars).
Letters to Loretta from the Radio Shack
By Laura Lynn Ashworth
Is available on Amazon for the Kindle for $9.99 and in paperback for $13.39
As well as at the author’s website www.lauralynnashworth.com for $14.95