Review: With Love Wherever You Are by Dandi Daley Mackall

I’m going to cry. This book is adorable personified.

There wasn’t anything amazingly profound about With Love Wherever You Are but it was such a charming read.

With Love Wherever You Are is the story of Frank and Helen Daley, the author’s parents. (Yes! It’s a true story!) A couple of years back Mackall opened her parent’s chest of war time letters – over 600 of them in the course of a year or so. Upon reading them all, Mrs. Mackall’s lovely book ensued.

Helen Eberhart is a spirited army nurse. Frank Daley is a determined army doctor. When the two of them meet at training, it’s love at first sight. After a couple of months of late night walks, chatting, and surprise phone calls, Frank asks Helen to marry him, and much to his surprise she says yes.

As magical as their new life together is, the war sweeps them away from each other only weeks after their wedding. Although they meet a few times during the course of their service in the army, Frank and Helen are sans the other for months and months. (I can’t even imagine how difficult that would as a newly wed.) Since they cannot speak in person, they write letters back and forth. Dozens and dozens of letters.

Through out the course of the war they learn what it means to truly love. In learning what love looks like, they discover what genuine faith looks like in the midst of utter chaos.

I devoured this book like it was an ice cream sundae. Frank and Helen had the sweetest relationship and I loved how they continued to grow in their love, even though it seemed they couldn’t love each other even more than they already did.

Their separation only grew their love and that was beautiful.

Their love bloomed from sweet infatuation to a selfless, tender, and romantic devotion to the other. That my friends, is what love should be. Friendship, devotion, love, and reminding the other who loves them better than they.

What I enjoyed about this story, was that it portrayed a “love at first sight” romance that endured beyond a couple months. Helen and Frank remained married all their lives.

(Aren’t the names Helen and Frank about as 40s’ as you can get? Their names are just so swell. 😉 )

Something else that was very cute was that they signed almost all their letters with, “With love wherever you are.” And that Frank called Helen, Tiny. Every time he called Helen, Tiny, I cried a little on the inside.

(I admit it. I’m a sucker when it comes to love stories.)

With Love Wherever You Are increased my admiration for the “greatest generation” and furthered my belief that love at first sight can be abiding and it is not just the stuff of fiction.

This book was a treat. I recommend it to anyone looking for a wonderful war time love story.

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(The pictures above are from Pinterest, and the two photographs of Helen and Frank are from Mrs. Mackall’s blog.)

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8 thoughts on “Review: With Love Wherever You Are by Dandi Daley Mackall

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  1. Ah sounds like an amazing book! My grandparents had a similar story. They met in 1940 I think, and very shortly after my grandpa headed off to the war. The few times he came back on leave he made sure to try to see my grandma and eventually they started writing letters. Then eventually they got married, during the war and my grandpa was shipped overseas. They wrote letters to each other every day for 3+ years. Then when my dad and his siblings were kids, they didn’t even know the letters existed. Then, I remember being a little girl in their house and wondering what was in this random suitcase all taped up and closed in a closet. My dad asked his parents and they said some old “private” letters. Once my grandparents passed away, we opened it up and hundreds of letters form WWII were there and it’s so beautiful and amazing. My grandpa always addressed her as “my dearest” and such and signed “with love always” or something similar. It was so amazing. lol sorry for rambling. Anyways I’ll have to read this book!

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    1. Oh my goodness! How sweet! That’s so neat that you got to be a part of finding their letters. It’s so amazing to know that it was our grandparents and great grandparents generation that made up that brave group of men and women. Sadly my great grandparents have passed away but they told us some of their WWII story as well and it was so inspiring. I’ll have to tell you about it later. 😉

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      1. Cool! There’s literally so many good ones. The One True Love of Alice Anne is one of my favorites. Two very good Holocaust stories are The Butterfly and the Violin, and A Sparrow in Terezin. (Those are in a series.) The Silver Suitcase was a nice story, though not my favorite. One of the absolute best WWII books is All the Light We Cannot See, it does have some language but it’s one of the most amazing books I’ve ever read. Some other ones are For Such a Time (Kate Breslin), Unbroken, Promise Me This by Cathy Gohlke (this one is WWI), Secrets She Kept (also by Cathy Gohlke), and the Zion Covenant series by Bodie and Brock Thone.

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