Thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for providing an Advanced Reader Copy. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
“I’ll Be Seeing You” by Robin Lee Hatcher is a story which follows two timeliness simultaneously, the 1940s and current period, with two women’s lives — Daisy in the 1940s and Brianna in the present day. It can be perceived as a coming-of-age story but it’s not only that; it also deals with the concepts of finding one’s connection with God and holding on to one’s faith in times of hardship.
The story begins with Brianna getting a project from her history professor to talk to any old people in her family and find out how life was like for them in their youth. Brianna opts to talk with her 96-year-old great-grandmother Daisy. Talking about her youth prompts Daisy to think about her life during the second World War and also the mistakes she had made then.
Daisy had been having a crush on her sister Lillian’s boyfriend Brendan since she has been 14 years-old and she had always hoped that Brendan would start noticing her. During 1942, the entry of USA into the 2nd World War becomes the catalyst for a number of events that brings about important changes in the relationships of Brendan, Lillian and Daisy. And Daisy is forced to see herself for what she really is and also the other people in her life.
Daisy’s reminiscing of her past mistakes is also brought on by Brianna’s interest in an attractive boy named Greg, whom she has just met in her church. Something about the way she thinks reminds Daisy of herself and her sister. Both of their stories are told simultaneously and through these stories, the author conveys how similar certain things are even though the times are different.
Hatcher is an extremely talented writer. I am not a big fan of stories told in the WWII period; particularly those that describe hardships and struggles. I also don’t really favor stories which are interspersed too much with religious quotes. This book, in spite of containing all these things, managed to capture my attention and got me invested in the stories of these ordinary people faced with extraordinary circumstances.
I liked the way the author used Daisy’s life and Brianna’s life as a foil to show us how we ought to learn from the past. Whatever the period, human beings and their emotions remain the same and this is captured beautifully through them. The importance of forgiving oneself and looking beyond the surface are other concepts explored through this wonderful story.
I was pulled into these women’s lives from the first page and just couldn’t stop myself from reading one chapter after another. It was an extremely compelling read with characters that are very real and relatable. Their struggles and foibles are so very common. It was a most satisfying read that has made this author one of my favorites. I can’t wait to read the next book of hers.
You must surely check this book out if you are into books which delve into the various facets of human nature and the multitude dimensions of human relationships; or if you are into books which are set in the 1940s.
This book gets 5 out of 5 stars.