25 Sugarland Road: Letters of Love and War, 1943-1945
Bob and Luella McBride had been married two months when twenty-year-old Bob was thrust into a global war as a medic with the Seventeenth Airborne Division. Luella Hart, nineteen when she married, relied on her sisters and Bob’s parents for support as a wartime single mother. In 25 Sugarland Road: Letters of Love and War, 1943–1945, author Judith McBride Bentley tells her parents’ story through excerpts from more than 200 letters filled with wonder, anxiety, yearning, and a strong sense of family during a time their views of the world and human nature became shattered by the realities of war. As Bentley notes in the book, her father’s letters home “recounted the platitudes about food and weather that would pass the military censors, the radio shows he listened to, the antics of his buddies, the rigors of basic training, and the boredom of waiting. The letters he received from home . . . sent news of babies, church, canning food, hogs, chickens, and relationships under stress. They told of rationing, worries about the draft and those missing in combat, and the comic relief of a baby playing with her toes.”
Hardcover. 120 pages. 2021, Indiana Historical Society Press. By Judith McBride Bentley.