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Letters of Love

This book provides a window into the love story of Ivan and Isabel. For more than two years, Ivan was a prolific writer of love letters, only some of which follow in this book. From Maryland to Indiana to California, Ivan shared his life and love for Isabel through the written word. The letters provide a record of what life was like during and after war and let us witness a fragment of their growing relationship and love for one another. The first letter is dated February 2, 1944, more than 18 months before the end of World War II. In early 1944, Ivan is stationed at the U.S. Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, Maryland and Isabel is a senior in a high school in Chicago. Ivan’s love for Isabel and his confidence in expressing that love grows over time. His early letters start with measured salutations, such as “Dear Isy”. But, in time, the declarations of love and the greetings become much more heartfelt – “My Dearest Darling”. The letters are a manifestation of his developing love and passion for her. Soon after the first letter is written, Ivan is accepted into the Naval Academy at the University of Notre Dame. In his March 2, 1944 letter, he describes his living conditions, his schedule and classes, and the restrictions by which he is bound, such as imposition of demerits if not in bed upon the nightly playing of Taps. As the war comes to an end, Ivan becomes consumed by his desire to be discharged from the Navy so he can begin a life with Isabel. The last letter is dated March 19, 1946.

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