"Anything is pretty much possible – if you dream it, you can have it. That is, unless war is a factor. This is a narrative, true story of a young girl who grew up in a poor, dysfunctional family in Upstate New York, and lives mostly in a dream world as a means to escape her mundane life. Probably not such a unique story. But she is unique in that she does something about it – she doesn’t wait for things to happen, or anyone else to be in control of her destiny --she takes the reins. Through enthusiasm and guts, she manages to live the life she’s always dreamed about -- to travel, to see the world. It’s 1967 and at the inexperienced age of 20, she leaves her home in New York to work in Great Britain as a domestic, where she stays for nearly two years. She gets there on a one-way ticket, working papers, $100, and the determination to see what the real Europe is like -- not through the eyes of a tourist who only visits for a couple of weeks. She comes out of this experience not only with an education that she otherwise never would have had, but some great stories she’ll be able to pass on to family and friends.
But before she leaves on her adventure of a lifetime, she becomes a friend and lover to Peter. He is her first real love and memories of our first usually remain forever. This was no different for Marlene, and she chronicles the way her and Peter kept in touch in 1967 and 1968 with their letters. And after experiencing some great highs during her two years abroad, she returns home with a heavy heart, as Peter has become a casualty of the Vietnam War – the day the letters stopped. A starry-eyed, adventurous young girl, still rather naïve when she left home, returns having aged a lot more than she bargained for. In the end however, she would come to realize that certain people enter your life for a reason. She was lucky enough to let Peter into her’s, as he has been such a positive influence for over 40 years.
This book contains the actual letters Peter wrote to Marlene and her recollections of what she wrote back to him, with no embellishments. Although the book deals with the Vietnam Era, anyone who has friends or relatives serving in the military today will relate to the story.
About Marlene Marchaesi
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Published April 2, 2009
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, War.