Dear Hubby of Mine

Home Front Wives in War II

Non-Fiction - Historical
192 Pages
Reviewed on 01/09/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I spent over 30 years in corporate and academic marketing in Michigan before moving to Sedona, Arizona, and launching Red Rock Mountain Press. I wrote and published the picture book Shade; a story about a very smart raven, followed by The Author’s Concise Guide to Marketing: how to jumpstart sales of your self-published book for first-time authors needing marketing skills. Responding to the need for a children’s non-fiction book about ravens, I researched and wrote The Un-Common Raven: one smart bird that received recognition as a Panelist Pick in the 2013 Southwest Books of the Year and was a finalist in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards.
About five years ago I started researching and writing my latest book, Dear Hubby of Mine: Home Front Wives on World War II.
The letters I used that were shared between my parents are the lovely red thread moving thr story along.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite

When we think of World War II what most often comes to mind are vicious battles, concentration camps, bombs raining down from the sky, Pearl Harbor and the like. Rarely do we give more than a passing thought to the more mundane aspects of wartime in that day and age, such as what went on at home. There were millions of war wives all over the world and this biography, Dear Hubby of Mine: Home Front Wives in War II by Diane Phelps Budden, tells their story. The names and circumstances might vary but the experience was generally the same everywhere. Waiting, worrying, rationing, child-rearing and worrying about money were common to most wives.

Diane Phelps Budden tells her parents’ story in Dear Hubby of Mine: Home Front Wives in War II. Irma and Lou were separated by the war, but they kept in touch by writing and the occasional phone call. Budden has included excerpts from the hundreds of letters her parents exchanged over the course of World War II and also added interesting historical notes and information. The letters are a fascinating glimpse not just of the war, but of life in the 1930s and '40s. They are sweet and romantic and sometimes playful. But often they are just the everyday happenings, thoughts and feelings of a husband and wife. They’re not love letters in the usual sense, but they are very loving letters that show the ordinary, everyday side of the war. The information included by Budden complements the letters and provides extra insight into a way of life that is gone forever. This book is a must-read for history lovers of all ages.

Happy Reading

This book interested me because my father was also a World War II vet. Author Diane Phelps Budden shares the letters her mother Irma and father Lou exchanged while Lou was a sailor in the South Pacific. The book is filled with family photos and images of letters, telegrams, and V-mails (a system Kodak developed during the war to distribute photocopied mail via microfilm). We have all seen old black-and-white photos from this era, but within the pages of this book, Lou and Irma come alive and we begin to feel that we know them personally. The children of Hungarian immigrants, the young couple express their love and longing for each other while they are separated. Irma is a home front wife with a young daughter, pregnant with her second child (the author herself) while Lou goes through training before leaving for the South Pacific where his ship is instrumental in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Meanwhile, Irma goes through the last months of pregnancy and delivery while Lou is away. Although he's able to visit his growing family on leaves, Irma essentially becomes a single mother during those long years.

In addition to the letters, the author also includes a wide array of research such as the typical monthly budget of these young families, the selling of war bonds, immigration rates, and popular films and radio shows of the time. Lou and Irma's story truly is a microcosm of the era.

One of the most interesting parts of the book was the fact that Lou was never able to tell Irma exactly where his ship was, and there are numerous references to the fact that the military censored letters for the safety of operations. Irma proves to be a good detective, however, by reading news about the current battles being waged, watching newsreels, and examining maps. It's also surprising that although Victory over Japan happens in August, 1945, Lou does not finally make it home until December of that year. His ship spent several months conveying other military personnel back home from the Pacific theater.

This is a story of one young family's lives put on hold while the father is off to war. A great read for anyone interested in the less-told tales of wives on the home front.

Sue Haan

This is a wonderful story of a young married couple torn apart by World War II and the effects it had on them and other women on the home front. The letters they wrote to each other told the loving story of how much they yearned for each other and the loneliness that ensued. Irma raised two children, like many home front wives. Other women went to work, like Rosie the Riviter. The story behind the letters is an inside look at the nation during wartime, and the social changes it created. I never knew the day to day issues the war created. This book is a unique blend of a personal story and the broader social challenges brought on by the war. I wanted to keep on reading when the book ended. The 75th anniversary of the end of World War II is celebrated this year on September 15th. A fitting tribute to the men and women of that era.