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Sunday, 5 April 2015

Review of Letters to the Lost - Iona Grey

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I must admit that when I first heard that this was based during the war I didn't think it would be my cup of tea but after attending the Spring Blogger Evening hosted by Books and the City, I had the pleasure of meeting Iona Grey and listening to her read an extract from the book and I soon changed my mind. I also instantly fell in love with the beautiful cover which depicts a timeless couple embracing.

The story starts in 2011 with a young girl, Jess who has hit rock bottom and is trying to escape from a disastrous relationship. She is so fearful of being found that she takes refuge in an old empty uninhabited house and this is where she finds the letter from an American pilot who is trying to trace his wartime sweetheart. Will is a probate assistant who is responsible for finding out who owns the house after the death of the most recent inhabitant and he becomes intrigued with Jess and the story of the wartime lovers.

Stella and Dan had met during the war and fallen in love but things could not run smoothly as Stella was unhappily married to a clergyman who had dark secrets of his own. Dan never forgot his promise to love Stella for ever but time is running out. Will Jess and Will manage to get to the bottom of Stella and Dan's story with just an old shoebox of letters to go on?

This story is exquisitely written and is almost two books in one, the intricate tales are beautifully interwoven and take the reader through feelings of anguish, heartbreak, guilt, sheer bliss and regret. The contrast between what was acceptable in those days and now is very apparent and the sad part is that their lives would have been so much different if they had lived later on. The relationships between the two separate generations also blossom into great friendships and manage to offer hope to the hopeless.

Jess and Will are both wounded souls but each finds strength for the other and can hopefully learn to trust again.The book raises many unexpected issues such as mental health and abuse and deals with them sensitively in the many twists and turns.

I loved this precious book so much that I just want to clutch it close to my heart and keep it all to myself. A heartbreaking story of true love.

Published by Simon & Schuster 23rd April 2015
Links: UK: Amazon   US: Amazon

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