[Excerpt] War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation

Happy Valentine’s Day! What better way to celebrate than with a special excerpt from Cindy Hval’s War Bonds: Love Stories from the Greatest Generation? From blind dates to whirlwind romances to long separations, War Bonds highlights stories of couples who met or married during WWII. During history’s greatest war it was no time to start a relationship. But many among our young men and women did so regardless, and in this book we see how amazingly the “war bonds” of that World War II generation so frequently endured. 


The excerpt below contains “Chapter 12: Brothers and Their Brides” from War Bonds.

“In 2008, when journalist Hval was sent by her editor at the Spokesman-Review of Spokane, Wash., to collect WWII-era love stories, she did not expect her initial skepticism to give way to admiration, or readers to also fall for the stories. Out of Hval’s reportage come 35 moving stories of couples who married or first met during WWII. Each selection takes its title from a song of the era, such as “Have a Little Faith” and “Little Things Add Up to Love.” In one of the most affecting tales, “The Luck of the Draw,” we meet an Englishwoman, Violet, who, despite telling her sister not to “get mixed up with an American” as they were “a little too friendly,” herself fell for one, Fenton. As with many of the couples depicted here, he shipped out to war not long after their 1944 meeting, but not before successfully proposing marriage; they married the next year, both wearing their uniforms. Each chapter includes photographs of the bride and groom either at the beginning of their unions or just before, as well as more recently; dates are given for anyone who has since passed away. Hval’s journalistic style restrains the potential sentimentality, which won’t prevent these glimpses of love in the face of war from winning over romantics everywhere.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“Throughout this book, [Hval] clearly celebrates not only the personal sacrifices these couples made to serve their country, but also their devotion to one other, their deep-rooted friendship, and the profound respect that has kept their marriages strong for six to seven decades. This collection of memories serves to remind us that love can last a lifetime and preserves the optimistic recollections of men and women who lived during such a dark time in history, but persevered and built wonderfully happy lives together.”
San Francisco Book Review


About the Book

9781612002903America’s World War II is most often told through the stories of its great battles, when an entire generation of our young men was suddenly thrust across the oceans to represent the New World in deadly combat against the great powers of the Old. On sea, in the air, and on land our boys fought against totalitarian powers that threatened to overturn the American ideal of liberty for every individual, even civilization itself.

But while often forgotten, America’s women participated too. On the home front they were more than willing to share in the hardships of wartime, and in countless cases they fairly lived and breathed with support for our troops overseas. Whether working in factories or taking care of families, rationing or volunteering, their unflagging support contributed more to our victories than has ever been told.

Young people have been falling in love since time began, but romance during a global conflagration brought a unique set of challenges. The uncertainty of the time led to an abundance of couples marrying quickly, after brief courtships. Others grew closer through intermittent correspondence, where the soldier was invariably censored by officers, yet true longing from either side invariably came through. It was the worst time at all to try to have a relationship; yet amazingly, thousands of couples created lifelong bonds.

From blind dates to whirlwind romances to long separations, War Bonds highlights stories of couples who met or married during WWII. Each of the 30 stories begins with a World War II-era song title and concludes with a look at wartime couples in their twilight, as well as when they were so hopeful and young and determined to save the world. Illustrated with photographs from the 1940’s as well as current ones of each couple, War Bonds offers readers a glimpse of bygone days, as well as a poignant glimpse of our own.

During history’s greatest war it was no time to start a relationship. But many among our young men and women did so regardless, and in this book we see how amazingly the “war bonds” of that World War II generation so frequently endured.

To read more inspiring wartime love stories, you can purchase War Bonds on our website, or from any bookseller. War Bonds is available in both print and eBook.


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