Volume 1: The War—and Before traces the lives of Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond, from their modest beginnings through their meeting, marriage, and their activities during World War II. It shows how they each worked hard to gain worldwide fame, found love, and created an idyllic home together, despite interference from Gene’s mother. Always patriotic, both Raymonds gave their all during World War II, both overseas and on the home front, but to the detriment of their marriage and careers. The picture on the cover was from the Raymonds’ last photo shoot before Gene was sent overseas in 1942. It was taken on the outdoor steps at their home, Twin Gables. The book includes photos from Jeanette and Gene’s collection and utilizes personal letters, private documents, and various drafts of Jeanette’s unpublished autobiography.