After inheriting a box of 100 love letters written by her father to her mother during World War II, Jan Krulick-Belin sets out on a five-year journey to discover the father that died of cancer in the fall of 1960 when she was just 6 years old. All her life, she struggled to keep Bill Krulick’s memory alive, but her mother kept most details of their married life private, unable – or unwilling – to share them.
Through the letters and painstaking research, however, she discovers details about her parents’ great love story, unravels family secrets, and learns about the war in North Africa and the horrific fate of the Jews in Morocco, Germany, and France, bringing her even closer to her own Jewish roots. Her poignant journey takes her to Paris, Morocco, and upstate New York as she traces her father’s footsteps during the war years. The adventure comes full circle when Jan actually finds the Jewish-Moroccan family that provided the lonely soldier a feeling of home, fulfilling a wish she unearthed in his letters.
In this extraordinary book, Ms. Krulick-Belin shares many of those letters and places them in their historical context. They are interspersed with both family history and military and cultural details. Family and historic photos bring the era to life, and a helpful list of resources for researching military records closes out the book for any readers inspired to begin their own search for answers.
Love, Bill: Finding My Father through Letters from World War II, stands as a testament to the power of determination, love, family and the unbreakable bond between fathers and daughters.
Others agree. “There’s a bit of everyone’s family in this moving and heartwarming journey. I know that Jan has been hungering to write this story her whole life, and I’m happy to report: she done good!” writes actor, author, comedian and college friend Paul Reiser.
Kirkus Reviews states, “This remembrance, the result of extraordinary detective work, is a moving love letter from daughter to father but also a testament to the emotional significance of family legacy… a poignant fusion of history and familial devotion. A touching biography of a World War II soldier that unfolds like a mystery.”
Readers’ Favorite writes, “Love, Bill…is a story of love, romance, family, persistence, patience, discovery, and family ties that will touch the hearts of readers on many levels. The author puts her father’s memories into words beautifully and this resonates well with readers. The narration is detailed and descriptive, and the author takes readers on an unexpected and remarkable journey of her life. The amazing letters, the spiritual undertones, the Jewish connection, and lastly descriptions of World War II make the book an amazing read. The pictures in the book will help readers connect better with the characters, and the letters written by her father to her mother speak of the love they shared for each other. The author gives a voice to her father’s life and tells readers how he made an impact while he lived…The memoir has been beautifully executed and readers can feel the love and family bond clearly through the author’s words and expressions.”
“Not only did [the love letters] lead Jan on a quest to bond with the father she lost at a young age, but they offer us a deeper insight into every soldier’s struggle amidst the chaos of war to hold on to his dream of returning to the life and loves he left behind,” writes Captain Louis Matjasko, retired from the U.S. Navy and executive director of Circle of Change Veterans Dog Program.
Arizona Jewish Historical Society Executive Director, Lawrence Bell, also has praise for the book. “Jan helps shine a spotlight on her father’s Jewish identity as a U.S. soldier serving in North Africa and the Mediterranean, his contacts with the local Jewish populations, and his desire to enlist in the struggle against Nazi Germany despite his age,” he writes.
Jan Krulick-Belin was singled out as Top Female Author (Nonfiction) for 2017 by the AuthorsShow.com, and Love, Bill has been awarded a Silver Medal for the 2017 Arizona Literary Awards-Nonfiction; Best Non-Fiction Cover Design by the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards; Finalist in Nonfiction-Memoir for the 2017 Readers’ Favorites Award; Finalist in both First Nonfiction and Memoir categories in the 2017 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards; Finalist Nonfiction Sarton Women’s Book Award; and Finalist-Best New Nonfiction in the 2017 Best Book Awards.
Jan Krulick-Belin has more than four decades of experience as a museum and art consultant, and art and jewelry historian. She has served at institutions such as the Denver Art Museum, Smithsonian Institution, and Corcoran Gallery of Art. She retired as director of education at the Phoenix Art Museum but continues to lecture and consult, and serves as guest curator at the Sylvia Plotkin Judaica Museum in Phoenix. The New York native has a master’s degree in museum education from George Washington University. She and her husband, Jim, live in the North 32nd corridor.
Hardcover: ISBN: 978-1-4575-4379-1 530 pages $30.00 US;
Paperback: ISBN: 978-1-4575-4605-1 530 pages $19.00 US.
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