During WWII, Frank wrote letters to his wife, Catherine, who kept them hidden in a tin box not found until after her death in 2013. During the war, the military censored the soldiers' letters for security reasons. Therefore Frank's communication reveals little about the war, rather more about his love and longing for home and family. Frank had lived in an orphanage after his parents died in the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. He yearned for a family and feared he may not return to his wife and child, leaving his son fatherless as he had been. Still, he had a duty to his country and was determined to fight for freedom against the Nazis. He had lost touch with his two brothers and sister until they resurfaced during the war, creating even a more strained relationship.
In 1942 Frank was conscripted into the army and soon rose to First Lieutenant in Patton's Third Army. After grueling training in the Anti-Aircraft Artillery (A.A.A.) in the Desert Training Center in Coachella, Frank shipped out to the European Theater of Operations in April 1944. He left his new wife Catherine and their newborn son John after only holding his child for an hour in the hospital.
The author, Peggy O'Toole Lamb, researched the classified Army Morning Reports to detail the date and location of Frank's battalion, the 546th A.A.A., throughout the war. She gathered information from Patton's writings and diary, and the Third Army's After-Action Reports to find what had happened during the battles and campaigns and cross-referenced with the dates of his letters. Frank spared Catherine, "Kitty," the gruesome details of war, instead he shared stories of camaraderie, the beautiful countryside, and his longing for her and his son. Lamb gives the details he left out. Using the letters as a guide, she looks through Frank's lens and writes as if he is telling the story, expressing his feelings of happiness, sadness, frustration, anger, and love. "Darling" captivates the reader as if the action is happening in the present time, never knowing when it will all end.