I was privileged to read a version of It Had To Be You several years ago, and it was stunning.
I've bugged the author endlessly about publishing it as an ebook, and, finally, she did it! Allow me to tell you why this story remained in my mind all these years.
More than likely one reason I was so attracted to this book was because my mother was a young woman during WWII. She kept scrapbooks about every aspect of that era.
Mom played big band music from those decades of her youth, and I grew up listening to Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller along with rock and roll. Whenever there were old movies from the 1930s and 1940s on TV, I watched them and grew fascinated by what so many film students consider Hollywood's Golden Age.
Take those years leading up to the war, add some of the famous stars from the silver screen, toss in a young woman from Texas and a handsome worldly man unlike any of the boys at home, and you have the makings of a love story for the ages. Like all good romances, there must be conflict, and this story has the deepest, most entrenched conflict of all that was rampant then and still exists today: racial and cultural differences.
You see, the young woman is Anglo, and the man she falls in love with is Japanese American--and the time is an era when those citizens were being eyed with suspicion and distrust. Eventually so many of them were rounded up, their belongings confiscated, and they were placed in camps. It's part of the shame of the war years.
Love conquers all, they say, and Diane is willing to fight the world for the man she loves. This is the kind of love story you'll remember. It Had To Be You is what romance is all about. One woman. One man. Made for each other, regardless of what the world may say.
This book is a joy because one rarely finds a romance set from pre-WWII to post-WWII. How nice to read something with such a different setting. This romance about lovers from the Great Generation that gave so much for our country is a keeper.