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Second in the three-book Look for Me series, Wait for Me has the strength to capture readers as a stand-alone story with its new characters and historical setting. References to characters in Look for Me, the first book set during the Civil War, give sufficient back-story for the generational story of the White, Bowen, and Keens families.
After the prologue shows Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, establishing the World War II setting, the story begins on September 23, 1940 in New York.
“Jean Anne White-Shaw was reading the newspaper, listening to Glenn Miller on the radio and waiting for her son to come downstairs.” Songs from the Glenn Miller era become a powerful sensory cue for many scenes, some may say too many, while others may enjoy the trip down memory lane.
However, the author excellently executes with the dialogue, bringing readers into the events and the characters’ emotions. The dialogue, coupled with excellent characterization, carries the story. It is strong, realistic, and shares considerable insight into the families. Readers connect to the people, and quickly find themselves engulfed in their story.
Larry White is a reporter, a great nephew of Samuel White, a reporter during the Civil War; Susan Bowen is a nurse, a great niece of Sarah Bowen, a nurse during the Civil War; and Dealer Johns connects to the Keens family, going back to Mack, Sarah’s friend in the Civil War.
“These were Samuel’s last handwritten notes from Gettysburg. Phillip…carefully removed his mother’s Bible and placed it in front of him. In the Bible was an envelope that contained two items he needed to give to Lawrence. … the necklace and note that were in Samuel’s possession when his body was brought back from Gettysburg.”
Readers, watching the characters’ paths intersect, will eventually learn the connections to the characters in the first book whose similar paths these characters now follow. The plots and sub plots at times get a bit confusing, but as readers continue, they will make the connections, finding a finished story that is both cohesive and very good.
The often-unknown role of women in wartime as travel nurses and pilots, as well as the use of herbs for natural healing, adds interesting and relative historical content to the story. The WASP pilots and their active role in the war effort was particularly fascinating reflecting Shawgo’s vigilance with her medical and military history research. Readers may find it interesting that Shawgo, along with being an award winning novelist, is also a travel nurse who goes where and when she is needed for national disasters.
The satisfying ending holds just enough mystique to give a taste of what will come in the concluding book of the series, Find me Again, as well as stirring curiosity to go back to the first book, Look For Me, for the complete story in this engaging historical romance American saga that spans generations.