A Gal Named Jo
by DeeDee Hall
The story is pieced together from letters written between Hall's artist parents, Dick and Jo Flowers, during World War II. Dick was away in the War, Jo was staying with an artistic couple who mentored her as she prepared to enter art school in the fall. The story is well-written, entertaining, and sweet.
There were several things I liked about this read. First of all, it's the story of two artists who don't let unfortunate circumstances - like separation due to war - get in the way of their relationship or their passion for pursuing their dreams. It was also fun to read about the lives of people my Mom grew up around (Mom remembers having her picture made as a child in Dick's photography studio that he opened after returning from the War). I also appreciated the spiritual insights and parallels that Hall subtly weaves into the story. For instance, Jo, whose attempts to earn her keep and repay her hosts for the summer often are thwarted or completely flop, eventually realizes that some gifts - like salvation - can never be earned or repaid.
Overall, it's a well-written, enjoyable, and thought-provoking read, and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in art, World War II, or the lives of members of "the greatest generation."
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