An accomplished novel from a talented writer, Letters to the Lost is the kind of love story that will sweep you away from the very first minute. Iona Grey's prose is warm, evocative, and immediately engaging; her characters become so real you can't bear to let them go.
Late on a frozen February evening, a young woman is running through the streets of London. Having fled from her abusive boyfriend and with nowhere to go, Jess stumbles onto a forgotten lane where a small, clearly unlived-in old house offers her best chance of shelter for the night. The next morning a mysterious letter arrives - and when she can't help but open it, she finds herself drawn inexorably into the story of two lovers from another time.
In London 1942, Stella meets Dan, a US airman, quite by accident. But there is no denying the impossible, unstoppable love that draws them together. Dan is a B-17 pilot flying his bomber into Europe from a British airbase, his odds of survival at one in five. The odds are stacked against the pair; the one thing they hold on to is the letters they write to each other. Fate is unkind, and they are separated by decades and continents.
In the present, Jess becomes determined to find out what happened to them. Her hope - inspired by a love so powerful it spans a lifetime - will lead her to find a startling redemption in her own life in a powerfully moving novel perfect for fans of Sarah Jio and Kate Morton.
©2015 Iona Grey (P)2015 W F Howes Ltd
I am a HUGE sucker for a WWII love story, so this was right up my ally. This was a particularly compelling love story - i.e. I spent much of the time having no idea how it was going to wrap up. Loved the writing, ADORED the performance (Avita Jay was amazing!), really liked how the story progressed, and how it all wrapped up, etc. But in thinking about it now that it's over - it was a bit depressing and a little too needlessly dark. There was such sadness around the 1943 story, that I felt just kept going and going and going. I needed a reprieve from all the heaviness. I feel like the author could have allowed one teeny tiny thing to go right for the 1943ers! Or at the very least given Stella somewhat of a backbone. That actually got really irritating. I feel like someone who is daring enough to have an affair, would also be a big enough risk-taker to not get walked all over for the majority of her life.
But, regardless - it was an amazing story and I wouldn't hesitate to read another book by this author.
"A classic is a book that never finishes saying what it has to say." Italo Calvino
Okay, you caught me! I'm crying. Just finished Letters to the Lost, and I am so moved by the characters, their predicaments, and the satisfying, bittersweet conclusion.
The story begins with Jess, a young singer fleeing an abusive boyfriend, who finds shelter in an abandoned home. While there, she finds a letter written from an American WWII pilot, Daniel, to his English sweetheart, Stella. This takes the reader on a journey through time, as Jess learns more about Daniel and Stella, while she struggles to create a new life for herself.
Letters to the Lost handles a very sentimental theme, enduring love, without over sentimentality. I am so impressed by Iona Grey's first novel, and this new fan hopes it won't be the last.
I was drawn into the book immediately, partly because of the pleasant voice of the narrator, but it is just very well written. You get to love the main characters and want to know more about them. I'm glad I know what happened, but sad the book is finished. Can really recommend it!
I appreciated the narrator and her efforts to be consistent throughout the story with her voice work and her accents I thought she was outstanding! And I also enjoyed the story and felt that it came together and was descriptive enjoyable and kept my attention!
The plot of a story within a story and switching back and forth between past and present were frustrating at times but mostly because you are left with a cliff hanger just wanting to know more about one side. The story was great and realistic. It takes you through a world of emotions and everytime you believe you know what happened they throw you another curveball. I definitely recommend it!
Loved this story. At first I had a little difficulty keeping up with the story switching back & forth between the past & the current story. But it was well worth sticking with it. Sad to have it end. Loved the narrator too & all of her various voices.
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