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Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke is an amazing story that follows the journey of an Irish immigrant to America and the life he makes for himself and his family. It was like peeking in the window and watching the day by day events, the emotions, the struggles, and the love that lasted a lifetime. We begin the story in 1849 as Florence and his brother make their way from Ireland to America to escape the Potato Famine. Florence finds his way to West Springfield, Massachusetts to find Ellen, his true love. Ellen and her family had left Ireland earlier, but Florence knew he had to follow his one true love. Florence finds his way north after landing in New York and bidding his brother goodbye.
He and Ellen are reunited, they marry, and together they start their new life and family. They soon are blessed with two wonderful boys, Michael and Jerry, and then beautiful baby Grace. Life is hard in America and Florence believes his only option is to buy his way into the army, taking the place of a rich man who will deed him his own land and not have to go and fight the battle, thus making life better and easier for his family. Life becomes hard for Ellen and the boys as they must cultivate and work the new farmland, and adjust to the struggles caused by the raging Civil War while Florence is far away.
Ellen B. Alden has made the pages in this book come alive. The people are real, and her family, and she has created this story from old letters and research, sharing with us a beautiful story of love, hardship, wartime, and life. I felt as though I was reading Florence and Ellen’s diary and had a personal attachment to them both. It was impossible to put Yours Faithfully, Florence Burke down. I highly recommend this book and would love to see it become a movie; I even have the cast picked out. If you love Civil War history with a strong touch of love and daily struggles, then this is a must-read for you. It is a five star winner.