Gretchen Gilman is 13 in the summer of 1944 in a small northeastern Oklahoma town. Murder occurs on the street where she lives and her life is changed forever. Stand alone World War II novel. Winner of the Agatha for Best Mystery Novel. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize by the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers.
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The year is 1944 and the setting is a small town in Oklahoma. Gretchen Gilman is fourteen and since times are just as hard on the home front as they are across the ocean, Gretchen has landed the job as reporter for the Gazette which is the town's newspaper. Most days what she reported was about the boys back from the war. Gretchen lived with her grandmother while her mother worked in Tulsa which was a few hours from Gretchen and her grandmother. Gretchen's best friend Barb lived a few doors down the road and Barb's mother is Faye Tatum, is an artist and also the talk of the town. While Faye's husband was off fighting for our country, Faye could be found down at the local dance hall dancing nightly with a different man. Faye had a day job at the five and dime and when her husband Clyde returned he did not like the gossip about his wife and wanted her to stop going to the dance hall. More than a few arguments over Faye's dancing ensued. Then one day Clyde didn't come home and Faye left for the dance hall. Barb, feeling lonely left to visit another friend a few blocks away, she was home and in bed by the time her mother came home. Barb's had her bedroom door locked and she heard her mother's knock but refused to open the door, instead she pretended to be asleep, however, another knock came and her mother answered the door, she heard her mother shout and a mumbled voice. Then Barb knew that something terrible happened, she opened her bedroom window and pushed out the screen, rushing to Gretchen's bedroom window she summons Gretchen and together they go to Barb's house and find Faye dead. Everyone thinks Clyde Gilman came home and went into a jealous rage then he murdered his wife and walked away from the scene never to be heard from again. But Gretchen knows the truth and when decades later a letter from home arrives. Gretchen who is now an award winning journalist knows she must return home and put closer to the story that she has been haunted by for decades.

I loved LETTER FROM HOME, a haunting story, one of love, sacrifice, black mail, sadness and sorrow and of course murder. It reaches beyond the scope of human nature and goes into the depth and heart and soul. LETTER FROM HOME is by far the best book Carolyn Hart has ever penned.

Pamela James