A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.
March 1912: 24-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence - sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets - their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.
June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.
Sparkling with charm and full of captivating period detail, Letters from Skye is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity, and marks Jessica Brockmole as a stunning new literary voice.
©2013 Jessica Brockmole (P)2013 Random House Audio
I got lost in this beautiful narrative with excellent performances by multiple narrators. Set on two continents with the backdrop of two wars, it held my interest from the very first sentence to the very last. An ode to the true lost art of letter writing!
Excellent narration and clever format. The prose was beautiful enough to give this novel high marks, but I appreciated the surprise plot twists. I'll definitely look for more by this author.
A nice historical romance told in a series of letters. High marks to the production of this audio book, which uses multiple narrators to voice the characters. ( I wasn't too fond of the narrator for David, but the others were good, and the Scottish accents added authenticity to the story). Some plausibility problems with the story, especially at the end, but it is a romance, so I guess a happy ending is required.
Wonderful performances added to my enjoyment of this epistolary novel. (I followed along with the print version.) I liked the era (WWI-WWII years), the characters and the story. Highly recommended to fans of epistolary novels.
Overall rating: 4.5 stars
I really enjoyed the premise and the author did a great job getting the story told only through the letters. The book brought out the emotions - joy, humor, tears. This was one of the best books I've listened to this year. The narrators did a first-rate job. I've read some other reviews in which people said the character differences didn't come across on the printed page. I didn't notice any of that with the audiobook. I don't normally like having multiple narrators in a story but this was the perfect book for that to happen. Since I finished this, I've frequently thought back to Davey and "Sue", Margaret and Paul, Ian and Findlay. That's the sign of a good book in my opinion. I highly recommend this.
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