Pros:A completely engaging story from start to finish. A core group of developed characters mingled with history grounded in a 'real-life' account that brings the era alive through the eyes of average citizens. Although heroic in their survival, the characters in the story are not over-played or over-sympathetic or fantastic. Instead, the story rightfully depicts the life of several people during a time of war, each having their own unique story and coping skills that is beautifully developed through friendship, community, love and morality, as well as humor. The heavy, and otherwise dreary themes are lightened, but not cheapened by the use of clever comic relief that is refreshing and inserted in just the right spot to make a heart-wrenching story tolerable. Instead of being drug down by the topic, the story is uplifted and inspiring without taking away from the seriousness of the subject or historical period. Cons:I'm having a hard time finding anything to write in this section of my review. Although in my opinion, it is not truly a con, I will say that the story is a bit predictable. Given that it is told through letters, it is forced to go along a fairly predicable course, which leads to an obvious outcome. However, this did not take away from the wonderful story, mostly because it was interesting and did not need twist plots and action surprises to keep me hook. However, if you're hoping for a final plot twist, it's not coming -- it will end how you think it will end, but it still feels right and in my humble opinion, agreeable.