Covers can be deceiving and this one truly was. I thought the cover of this book looked dull yet the inside of the book was just the opposite. Written in letter correspondence, I found myself on an incredible journey with Reen, as she tries to save her family. What started out as a business correspondence between Reen and Mr. Marsworth turned into something more impressive than they both expected.
Reen and her older two brothers have been living with their grandma, since their mother’s death. Since Reen has no other friends, she hangs out with her youngest brother Dare.
Mr. Marsworth was a customer on Reen’s paper route and she needed important information to do her job. Known as a loner/recluse, Reen (11), takes to paper and pencil to get the answers she needs. In his responsive letter, he’s right to the point but that’s not the end of this. Reen keeps the letters flying a few times back and forth. Reen is a talker but in this case, a writer, and so she does, to Mr. Marsworth. Soon, it’s just Reen writing and waiting, waiting for a reply from her new friend. I really got impatient and angry too, why wasn’t he responding to her and when she pleaded to him to respond, what was he doing?
Reen begins to pour out her heart to Mr. Marsworth in her letters. It’s not just the newspaper information she needs now but she needs a friend, someone she can talk to. I could feel the love, the anxiety and the desperation in her words as she wrote. She wrote him about her day, her issues and she’d ask him some questions. She found that there are some questions that Mr. Marsworth just couldn’t answer. Those questions were too difficult and/or he just wasn’t ready to answer them for her. How Reen handled this really said a lot about Reen, I thought. What she had with Mr. Marsworth meant more to her than the answers. Now, that is good stuff!
The story occurs in 1968 when the Vietnam War was on everyone’s mind including Reen’s. Her old brother, Billy’s future is on the line: college, sign up for the military, or be drafted? For Reen, there is only one answer and she’s determined to make that happen.
Reen also has been corresponding with a soldier in the war. She received his name from her teacher as part of a project. Reen now knows first-hand what war is all about. I loved how she takes this project seriously and how much time she devotes to it.
That ending was fabulous! I had suspected something an ending like that but nothing as involved as that. I had to get out the tissues as the tears were flowing and I couldn’t stop them. What an awesome book!! Good heavens!! Can someone erase my brain so I can read it over again?? I loved it!