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Reviewed by Dawn Weaver for Readers' Favorite
When I Return… by Allen Nauss is a captivating story told solely with letters written by Nauss to his fiancée during his time in the U.S. Army during WWII. This is a love story, a comedy, a history, and, most of all, a glimpse into the life of a regular Joe in the army, just trying to make it back home to the woman he loves. Beginning with his departure in late 1944 for an Air Force Base in North Carolina, this intriguing series of letters captures his progression from camp to camp, overseas to Saipan, then finally home to his beloved Mer. While painting a picture of the world he travels through, the ultimate focus of his many letters is what they will do…when he returns.
When I Return… is an incredible story in its simplicity and amazing ability to take you back in time to 1944. If you, or anyone you know, is a WWII buff, you must read this book! But it is not for World War buffs alone. Nauss’ letters to his fiancée, Mer, are full of wit, intelligence, longing, and humor. I was constantly stopping and reading parts aloud to my husband and children because these were funny, touching, or vastly interesting. I loved his descriptions of comic events that occurred, especially the “daring trip” to San Antonio and the tarantula incident in Saipan! Nauss’ ingenuity is impressive as well. Ultimately, When I Return… pulls aside the curtain of time and offers you a glimpse into history.