Picks and Pans Review: Nothing but a Smile

updated 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 03/23/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

by Steve Amick |

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As World War II winds down, Wink Dutton arrives in Chicago to deliver a message to the wife of his Marine buddy Chesty Chesterton. Wink, a gifted illustrator, has lost the use of his drawing hand in the war and been discharged as a result. Chesty's wife, Sal, is struggling to keep the couple's camera shop afloat by secretly posing as a pinup girl. Chronicling the fateful intertwining of these star-crossed souls, Amick's expertly crafted novel combines an unusual love story with an intriguing, atmospheric peek into the American graphic-art world in the 1940s.

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