I’m delighted today to bring you an extract from a book I’m hoping to read very soon, Until We Meet by Camille Di Maio. My thanks to Ellen at Books Forward for my digital review copy.
About the Book
New York City, 1943.
Can one small act change the course of a life? Margaret‘s job at the Navy Yard brings her freedoms she never dared imagine, but she wants to do something more personal to help the war effort. Knitting socks for soldiers is a way to occupy her quiet nights and provide comfort to the boys abroad. But when a note she tucks inside one of her socks sparks a relationship with a long-distance pen pal, she finds herself drawn to a man she’s never even met.
Can a woman hold on to her independence if she gives away her heart? Gladys has been waiting her whole life for the kinds of opportunities available to her now that so many men are fighting overseas. She’s not going to waste a single one. And she’s not going to let her two best friends waste them either. Then she meets someone who values her opinions as much as she likes giving them, and suddenly she is questioning everything she once held dear.
Can an unwed mother survive on her own? Dottie is in a dire situation – she’s pregnant, her fiancé is off fighting the war, and if her parents find out about the baby, they’ll send her away and make her give up her child. Knitting helps take her mind off her uncertain future-until the worst happens and she must lean on her friends like never before.
With their worlds changing in unimaginable ways, Margaret, Gladys, and Dottie will learn that the unbreakable bond of friendship between them is what matters most of all.
Format: Paperback (384 pages) Publisher: Forever
Publication date: 1st March 2022 Genre: Historical Fiction
Find Until We Meet on Goodreads
Extract from Until We Meet
Distracted by the music and the twittering of their conversation, Margaret was surprised that an hour later, she had produced the base of a sock that, while not storefront-perfect, was something to be proud of. Gladys was about as far along as she was while Dottie was well on her way to finishing the matched sock that would complete the pair. At this rate, they could clothe the whole army in a short time. Dottie leaned in and showed them how to change the pattern in order to create the ribbed part that would hug the shin. Knit two, purl two.
As she continued, Margaret thought about the boys who would wear them and about a special request that John had asked of her. Could you write a note to my buddy William? He hasn’t received any letters yet, and I don’t know why. But I think it would mean an awful lot to him. Something cheery. You’re just the girl to do it.
She paused to glide a finger along her nearly done piece and thought about who this William was. Would he put the pair on right away? Or would he stash it in his rucksack for later? But most important, would he smile at the thought that some girl in Brooklyn had spent a Saturday evening making this for him? She was grateful her brother had enlisted her help. It gave her the kind of purpose that she felt working at the Navy Yard. That in some little way, she was contributing to the war effort.
“Margaret, watch out!”
Dottie was pointing to the pocket of the red sweater that Margaret’s grandmother had made for her many Christmases ago. It had seen better days – Margaret wore it frequently to the Navy Yard, and it had caught on her work more times than she cared to count. She missed her grandmother, having lost her two years ago to pneumonia, and the sweater was a warm reminder of the woman she’d loved. Margaret still felt the void at the dinner table every night as her grandmother’s seat remained empty. And now John’s.
She saw the problem that Dottie was pointing to. A piece of the yarn had come loose and had wound its way around the gray wool skein. The last row of Margaret’s stitching had the beginnings of an unintentional red border. “Looks kind of nice, if you ask me,” offered Gladys.
Dottie stood up to inspect the work. “I think she’s right, Mags. It dresses it up a little bit. Makes it stand out.” She dug through her bag. “I don’t have a red skein, but I have a yellow one if you want to make a border on purpose.” She held it up.
Margaret took it from her hand but wasn’t convinced as she put it next to the sock. There was something dull about it. Yellow on gray. Whereas the red reminded her of some of the flashiest dancing shoes her parents used to make. She shook her head and gave the yellow back to Dottie. Then she tugged on her sweater, loosening the yarn even more. “I’m going to stick with the red. For all the socks I make. It will be like having my signature on it.”
“Oh, Margaret!” exclaimed Dottie. “What do you mean? That’s your favorite sweater!”
Margaret’s heart beat faster as she doubted herself, but she knew deep down that this was something she had to do. “That’s why. It’s because it’s my favorite. What if this little sacrifice means something? Like the amount of our effort somehow elevates theirs?”
Gladys set her project down on her lap. “Like it’s in the stars. The more good you put out there, the more comes down to them.”
“Or” – Dottie seemed enthusiastic about the idea now – “it’s like sending them a bit of your grandmother’s goodwill. Letting her be their guardian angel too.”
Margaret smiled. “Yes. Exactly like that.”
“I like it. And so would John.”
Margaret stifled a yawn. It was only nine o’clock, but she still felt tired from the sleep she’d missed from the early shift yesterday. This work was too important, though, and this evening with her friends was too dear to wrap up early. Another Glenn Miller song came on – “Knit One, Purl Two.” The girls fell into another fit of giggles. The song had dominated radio stations last year, and its appearance at this moment felt like it was all meant to be.
“You know what?” said Gladys. “I think I’d like to do this every Saturday night after all.”
Margaret smiled at Gladys’s response to the silent wish of her heart. She whispered a prayer for the boys who would receive the socks and went back to work. Tomorrow, she would write a letter to William and slip it into the box before shipping it out.
About the Author
Camille Di Maio left an award-winning real estate career to become a bestselling author. She has a bucket list that is never ending and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She’s lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai‘i and Maine to feel like a local. She’s traveled to four continents (so far), and hopes to get to all of them someday. Camille studied political science in college. She loves to spend Saturdays at farmers’ markets and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. She lives with her husband of twenty-four years in coastal Virginia, has two kiddos grown and flown, and two still at home. Rescue pets have been a long-term passion for her, the most recent addition being a German shepherd puppy. (Photo/Bio: Publisher author page)