Marielo: A Foreign Service Life In Diary And Letters

By M. Wesley “Wes” Shoemaker
Regular price $62.00

In assembling and organizing his wife Mary’s letters and diary, M. Wesley “Wes” Shoemaker’s constant goal has been to allow the documents to speak through her voice without intruding himself unnecessarily into the narrative. Yet it cannot be denied that he is the Wes who appears throughout, and that, in addition to the main theme of Mary’s life and Foreign Service Career, it is also a story of a marriage lasting over fifty-one years, in spite of the fact that fifteen of those years, their separate career patterns kept them separated for eight months each year.

Containing a total of 191 letters (116 of which are to Wes), Marielo: A Foreign Service Life in Diary and Letters chronicles Mary’s incredible life as a Foreign Service Officer through the slowly dying medium of letter writing, which provided a lifeline that held their marriage together over the years and further explains how their long-distance relationship survived over the years of separation.

About the Author

M. Wesley “Wes” Shoemaker was a Foreign Service Officer and has been posted at locations all over the world. He later resigned from this role to enter a doctoral program in Russian history at Syracuse University and went on to teach at Lynchburg College.

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Published: 2023
Page Count: 912

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review
Marie Young
Worthwhile read for anyone interested in U.S. politics, women’s rights, or non-traditional love s...

Through the pages of this book, Mary Charlotte (Marielo) Shoemaker’s life can be examined within the historical context of a time when women were forced to choose between marriage or a career. As a young Foreign Service Officer in the 1960s, she married a fellow FSO only to discover that love would conflict with policy. She was forced to choose between accompanying her husband abroad or pursuing her own ambitions of foreign service. She pushed her dreams aside until a landmark lawsuit in 1974 put her life of service abroad back on track.

The thoroughness of the material provides the reader ample time to get to know Marielo through her most intimate thoughts. Her letters and diary entries, lovingly compiled by her husband Wes, allow her own words to cast an unvarnished light into her personal accomplishments and struggles as a driven, professional women redefining the traditional role of “wife.” It is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in U.S. politics of the 1960-90s, women’s rights, or the 51-year love story of a couple played out continents apart.