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Publisher's Summary

The day the second atomic bomb was dropped, Clabe and Leora Wilson’s postman brought a telegram to their acreage near Perry, Iowa. One son was already in the U.S. Navy before Pearl Harbor had been attacked. Four more sons worked with their father, tenant farmers near Minburn until, one by one, all five sons were serving their country in the military. The oldest son re-enlisted in the Navy. The younger three became U.S. Army Air Force pilots.

As the family optimist, Leora wrote hundreds of letters, among all her regular chores, dispensing news and keeping up the morale of the whole family, which included the brothers’ two sisters. Her fondest wishes were to have a home of her own and family nearby.

Leora’s Letters is the compelling true account of a woman whose most tender hopes were disrupted by great losses. Yet she lived out four more decades with hope and resilience.

Joy Neal Kidney, the oldest granddaughter of the book’s heroine, is the keeper of family stories, letters, photos, combat records, casualty reports, and telegrams. Active on her own website, she is also a writer and local historian. Married to a Vietnam Air Force veteran, Joy lives in central Iowa. Her nonfiction has been published in The Des Moines Register, other media, and broadcast over “Our American Stories”. She’s a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, and her essays have been collected by the Iowa Women’s Archives at the University of Iowa.

©2019 Joy Neal Kidney (P)2020 Joy Neal Kidney

Critic Reviews

"Joy lets us see her grandmother’s personal family correspondence through letters. It is heart-tugging. Be ready to be moved by this true story." (Van Harden, WHO-Radio Personality)

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What listeners say about Leora's Letters: The Story of Love and Loss for an Iowa Family During World War II

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Truly a story of love and loss.....mostly love

This was so good! I really enjoyed Paul's reading! But this book was literally a series of "love letters" back and forth between the Wilson's. The love and caring between parents, children and siblings was absolutely precious.
I actually knew the outcome and was dreading the moment we learned the fate of the boys because I was listening at work and was afraid I'd cry... which I did.
A wonderful story to remind us our freedom wasn't, and never will be, free.

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Wonderful narration, beautiful story

Fans of history and historical nonfiction will love this beautiful family story, along with fantastic audiobook narration.