About the Book
Dear Mary, Dear Luther:
A Courtship in Letters
Jill Marie Snyder is the only daughter and youngest child of Luther and Mary Snyder. After her mother’s passing in 2007, Jill found her parents’ 1930’s love letters stuffed in a plastic bag and hidden in a bedside cabinet. At first, he didn’t feel she should read the letters, considering them private, but she eventually realized the importance of preserving them.
The letters begin in June of 1937 when Luther leaves their hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania for a summer job in Asbury Park, New Jersey. He never returns, deciding to move to Harlem when his summer job ends. Mary, nearly eight years younger than Luther, graduates from high school and continues to live at home with her family. Thus, they write to each other for over three years, only seeing each other occasionally until they marry in January 1941.
After reading the letters, Jill recalled that many years before, her mother had once sought advice about possibly publishing them. She felt that gave her permission to transcribe the letters and share them with the world.