In 1942, Beth Pierce was completing her internship in the new discipline of occupational therapy in a Baltimore hospital where she meets Jim, a conscientious objector who is training to become a medic. They share a love of poetry and the arts. He goes off to war and serves in the foxholes and trenches of the dreadful conditions at the front. She stays in North America serving in rehabilitation with the war wounded – young men damaged physically and mentally from the great trauma. Until 1945, they exchange a remarkable series of letters that describe the war, their parallel work with the war wounded, their hopes for the future, and gratitude for each other’s thoughts. The letters always close with “Please write.”


Beth Pierce Robinson gathered these precious letters and set them in the context of the educational programs and the major wartime events that the two young people experienced.  

Their love for each other is tempered by the sobering reminder that survival beyond the conflict was not a given. He witnessed the acute trauma; she deals with its slow aftermath. In the end, they married other people, raised families, and lived full lives—he as an English teacher and poet in the USA; she as an art therapist in Canada.  They reconnected with each other 
by letter six decades later to rekindle the memories through the old letters and new poems.  

Illustrated with photographs and maps, and amplified by intelligent, sensitive commentary by the remarkable nonagenarian, Beth, this book includes information on the treatments available in wartime and the strategic events of the war. It could spark the imaginations of students to contemplate their future lives as caregivers, artists, and responsible individuals buffeted by the chaos of world events that they cannot control. 


Borealis Press

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