|Reviews for Letters to Mary McGraw|
| Brittany Woods chapter 1 . 12/24/2012
Hi! I'm Brittany, one of the judges for A Drop of Romeo. Your story was submitted for review on our site and was accepted! Here's my review:
"I have never personally known anyone in the military, but stories about military men and women and the people who love them fascinate me. As a plot point, such stories delve into an aspect of the human condition that I've never experienced, but feel great compassion for. To be separated from someone that you love, unsure of when or if you will see them again requires a courage and strength of character that I greatly admire. For this reason, I was immediately drawn to Letters to Mary McGraw. Mary is a kindhearted, optimistic, small town girl who meets James three days before he embarks on his third tour of duty in Vietnam. Our two leads have little in common and barely knew each other, but Mary feels compassion for a lonely soldier in obvious emotional pain. They begin a tentative friendship through letters sent across the world, interwoven with the terror of war and the endurance of the human spirit. Where James is pessimistic and hardened by war, Mary is bright eyed and confident in his future. While Mary has trouble finding herself, James sees her clearly and offers a perspective on the world far surpassing her own naivety.
JaneBarrie manages to capture the emotions of a time of turmoil in American history truthfully and factually with an unbiased eye. I felt apprehensive at first that this story would sway too close to one side of thinking from that time more than the other, but was pleased to discover she paid credence to a true historical event without allowing it to define the story. Mary and James are well developed and the supporting characters - particularly their respective parents - offer a well rounded cast of interesting individuals. My main criticism is the letters sometimes felt too short and I didn't always feel the connection between the characters as strongly as I may have with face to face interaction. However, it allows the reader to know the two leads how they began to know each other. Also, sporadically characters used language, particularly slang, that seemed a bit too modern for the time, but I didn't find it overly distracting. I expected this story to follow a cliche more closely than it did and was surprised at how JaneBarrie made it her own. Be forewarned: have your tissues ready and be prepared for some crazy twists and turns. This is a lovely historical piece easily applicable to current times. Letters to Mary McGraw presents a story of friendship, love, survival, and how one person can change you forever if you only have the courage to let them."
| Unwritten.prose chapter 8 . 11/21/2012
You wouldn't believe it, but your story actually got me interested in the Vietnam War. And I'm not even a big fan of history! The story of Mary and James is so engaging, so real, and has just the right touch of sweetness to it. In short, I LOVE IT! The pace of the story is just right, and that is a great, rare quality right there. I'm on the 8th chapter, and I'm going to read the rest with bated breath! I'm not going to lie, I'm hoping fervently for a happy ending, but a small part of me is worried by the part of the prompt that promised angst. :/ Whatever the outcome of the story, I'm sure that James and Mary will always occupy a small spot on my mind, and this story will always be a favourite of mine. :)
| Guest chapter 16 . 9/29/2012
This was a beautiful story! Great job! Loved it! :') 3
| balloonfista chapter 16 . 7/13/2012
Awww! Loved the end! I think both characters felt really real - like how James went off to see Australia just because he was there and Mary got bad at her waitressing because she was so upset. Loved it!
| balloonfista chapter 11 . 7/13/2012
Whooo! And it gets incredibly interesting...
| Pranali chapter 16 . 5/13/2012
Woah. That was amazing. i almost cried when I thought James was dead. Omg. Seriously, amazing. You should have added an epilogue though, i would love to know what happens to them after this, like where they are present day. But, no lie, i loved this.
| angelc18 chapter 16 . 4/22/2012
This story is truly beautiful, and really touched me deeply.
I love the character development, the sweet yet innocent romance and the well thought out plot.
As Mary and James fell in love with each other, I fell in love with them (in a totally non creepy way :P) because your story was so amazingly written and full of emotions that would affect many people.
I know this was written a long time ago now, but I just hope that you write more full length stories like this one as you are obviously quite talented.
xoxo, Suze :)
| MuffinsRoxSox chapter 16 . 11/19/2011
This story nearly killed me with the suspense and the fluff and the twists and turns. I will admit that I actually started crying when Mary and Mr. Waters went to the viewing. And some more after that as well.
I've been reading lots of soldier stories to give me inspiration to write my letter to a soldier stationed in Afghanistan. It's actually an English assignment, but I'm getting really into it. It's the least we can do to say thank you, you know?
Well, I better get going. This story was really amazing. :)
| Kiveda chapter 16 . 11/11/2011
Adorable, light and soooo... cute!
I'm so sick of people writing in dirty scenes to get more reviews! This is a really cute change :)
| AJS chapter 16 . 5/12/2011
SUCH A CHARMING STORY! I love this! I kind of ruined it for myself by reading the reviews because I wanted to ensure that the ending would be happy but... still loved this. :) It's just very sweet and pure. I guess Mary might have a lot to do with that. And that it's historical and it's letters. So traditional. Love it.
Only thing is... why couldn't he have sent any letters or anything from Australia? That was really the only question I had. Congratulations on the win!
| drats chapter 16 . 3/22/2011
I loved this story! But the amount of times I thought you were going to end it as a sad story... the thought of it almost made me cry.
im SO glad you didn't. :)
| EMILY chapter 11 . 3/4/2011
(previous chapter) more about Carol? was she at college? where was she? etc.
| EMILY chapter 7 . 3/4/2011
"...something more, but could bring herself.." should be couldn't
"you SEE should the fellow i work with.."
"it makes me SICK to think of my company..."
"she was beginning to see a different side (a lot of repeated words, delete some) of him..."
more about Mr. Waters
watch for run on or really long sentences and try to break them up a bit more
| EMILY chapter 6 . 3/4/2011
"she turned to head instead (should be inside) when he said..."
describe the hospital in more detail perhaps? different wards? what were the doctors and nurses like, etc?
| EMILY chapter 5 . 3/4/2011
more info on James family?
how big is their town?
"my mother is still MAD (not made) about my writing..."
James injury? what is it? how'd it happen? so, is bill dead?