The bombing of Pearl Harbor turns Maddy Marshall's 17th birthday into a day she'll never forget. Her brother, Davey, along with her almost-fiancé, Lyle, and all the other young men in their Pennsylvania town enlist in the armed services.

Months later, Davey sends for his wife, Ruth, and Maddy to join him in Miami before he is to be shipped out. It is there that Maddy meets English flying instructor Stephen Tull-Martin.

There is one special night when they are all together and a photograph is taken of the group. It is this portrait that begins to take on a life of its own. As the war progresses, the photo has the mystical ability to change—to reflect the events in their lives as Maddy and Ruth face their own obstacles.

As she did in The Wedding Dress, Virginia Ellis depicts people in times of crisis with a quiet strength that is uplifting. Here she gives us a portrait of two women facing their fears, overcoming tragedy, and because of a seemingly magical photograph, they are able to hold on to hope in their darkest hours. This is a powerful, emotional story, whose reflection of families in war-time is relevant today. (Jun., 400 pp., $22.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kathe Robin