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Publisher's Summary

The Number One Kindle best seller guaranteed to break your heart.

Every so often a love story comes along to remind us that sometimes, in our darkest hour, hope shines a candle to light our way.

Discover the Number One best seller that has captured thousands of hearts worldwide....

Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home. Whilst going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked. Tina opens the letter and reads it - a decision that will alter the course of her life for ever....

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right. On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future. It does - in more ways than he can ever imagine....

The Letter tells the story of two women, born decades apart, whose paths are destined to cross and how one woman's devastation leads to the other's salvation.

©2013 Kathryn Hughes (P)2015 Headline Digital

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,978
  • 4 Stars
    792
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    202
  • 2 Stars
    37
  • 1 Stars
    19

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 4 Stars
    610
  • 3 Stars
    143
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    21

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    1,791
  • 4 Stars
    702
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    187
  • 2 Stars
    41
  • 1 Stars
    21
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

If mouth sounds bug you, skip this one...

Any additional comments?

I probably would have enjoyed this story more if I hadn't listened to an audio version. The narrator was fantastic except for one important thing- she smacks her tongue and lips every time she voices a characters, and if you are anything like me, it will make you crazy. Not sure why they can't edit that stuff out in this day and age.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jody
  • DADE CITY, FL, United States
  • 02-25-16

If you have any degree of misophonia, skip it.

If you could sum up The Letter in three words, what would they be?

Entertaining & well written if a little contrived. This was quite an enjoyable story with all of the loose ends neatly tied up.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The very audible lip smacking, breathing, noisy nasal inhalations/exhalations, and other moist mouth sounds almost made this book unbearable. Turning the volume down didn't help because the audio levels were all over the place with low-talking and whispering.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Dorothy
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 06-20-15

Very contrived but a sweet and captivating book.

The narrator is excellent and this is a good summer read. You can't help liking it.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Whispering is quite annoying

Overall I loved the story but the narrator made it difficult to hear half the time. She whispered so much that I could hardly hear when she spoke as one character, until she felt the need to shout as another. I was constantly adjusting the volume to compensate.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Susan
  • Rock Hill, SC, United States
  • 07-16-15

Destined to be a Hallmark movie!

What made the experience of listening to The Letter the most enjoyable?

The two story lines were very entertaining. I enjoyed both of them.

What other book might you compare The Letter to and why?

Not sure.

What about Rachel Atkins’s performance did you like?

I love, love, love the English and Irish accents. Also, good inflection, good acting - not just being read to.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Sad, happy, heartbreaking and

"The Letter" will, I'm sure, be poo-pooed by some as a sob story, a chick novel with no value or simply trite. However, I didn't find it so. I was saddened by the losses that the characters in this novel went thru-but life can be sad. I found it to be very real life actually. There are abusive husbands and fathers, women who can't or won't trust after they have been hurt and the search for a birth mother is something a close friend went thru a few years ago with similar results.

I'm happy that I live in a more enlightened country that Ireland during this time-the blame placed on the unwed young mother is terrible-and it was done t her by a church that alleges to be christian-but I see nothing christian in the behavior of the Mother Superior or the other nuns who haring and abuse the women.....of course being an unwed mother is the women's fault-no man is ever to blame, apparently, in this era. As an unwed mother of 20 during the same time I am so glad I had supportive parents and the inner strength to cope with the situation, that I wasn't forced to abandon my child but was able to raise him to a great adult..hard to believe he is now 52!

I suggest this is a good novel for women in the same situation, for men who have abandoned their wives or girlfriends when they became pregnant. Yes..men..need to know about the history of an area where birth control is still forbidden and where this archaic attitude is still in place.

This can be an enlightening book for young women - a bit of knowledge that might lead to an appreciation of where they live and what other women have done before them.

I recumbent this novel .

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narrator. Fun to listen to audio version!!!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Letter to be better than the print version?

Absolutely!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tina Craig

What does Rachel Atkins bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She is incredible. It was like listening to a movie!!! Would love to hear more of her stuff!!

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

This book seemed to celebrate weakness in women!

Any additional comments?

The story plot was great, really a good read. But it was pretty eclipsed by the fact that the 1970s chick is so incredibly weak and stupid that I found myself on more than one occasion heartlessly saying she deserved what she got. And I don't like feeling that way when the content of what she was dealing with is so horrific. I feel Kathryn Hughes was a bit self-indulgent in this respect, and I won't read anything else of hers until she can show she'll exercise a little self control with her character construction.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A.
  • Merritt Island, FL, United States
  • 05-30-15

Worth the read

I found it very interesting that I purchased this book the same time I bought A Memory of Violets; which have similar story lines. Again, they involved a people search. This story gives a picture from the perspective of the battered wife and the ever apologetic abuser. Definitely a lesson to be learned here for all of us. Might help you understand if you have a friend in this intolerable position.

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

I never stopped listening to this nook until I finished. It made me laugh, mad & cry. I just wanted everything to work out. It was sad and I cried all thru the book. It ended like I expected. I will read more by Kathryn Hughes.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sheila
  • 07-19-15

Brilliant

Brilliant story, brilliantly narrator had me gripped from beginning to end
Shame it had to end

23 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • sue
  • 08-02-15

A winner fantastic

This book has it all for me, struggles, heartbreak, love and loss, motherhood. Pain friendship.
I loved the story, the narration the jumps twists and turns.
And I identified with parts of the book myself.
Firm favourite.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Linden
  • 01-24-17

Feeling a little bewildered

I am somewhat bemused by the fact that my opinion is so out of line with hundreds of reviewers. This was an audible recommendation, and the fact that such a large number of people raved about it made it think it would be the book for me.

However, it did not engage me much at all, let alone make me weep; I don't think I'm just hard-hearted - plenty of stories affect me enormously. The emphasis was on the storyline, rather than characterisation. The characters were all very good or very bad and I couldn't really connect emotionally with them, or indeed the situations they found themselves in. I found the writing rather simplistic and hackneyed, and the story predictable and somewhat saccharin. It also annoyed me that I felt so much had been borrowed from the wonderful film "Philomena", where the characterisation was brilliant and the heartstrings really tugged.

I shall hopefully succeed in returning to storylines and characters with much more depth in future!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lulu
  • 07-21-15

The Good & Bad done in the name of Love

I congratulate the author for the brilliant manner in which this book was written; for telling an emotional and heart wrenching story with which many people today can identify, in a compassionate yet captivating manner.
This book was indeed heartbreaking in giving a realistic depiction of the harsh lives and consequences of those abused in the name of love due to the influences of alcoholism and societal stigmas. But, the brutal or real sad parts are cushioned as the story is swayed between different eras and character's stories; making the heartbreak bearable while keeping you engaged, eager to learn more and expect or rather hope that things will get better for the characters.
The narrator held her own; using the appropriate national and local accents, for the young and the old... I thought she was spot on every time!
I'd actually suggest this book for a book club because it raises many issues that could encourage interesting discussions and debate as well as research. I found the book so engaging that I read it in one day!!

22 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • 08-13-16

Couldn't finish it. Very negative vibe

All the characters are either bully's or too weak to stand up for themselves. There was nothing happy about this book & I had to turn it off.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Claire Carter
  • 06-23-16

Lovely holiday read.

Don'y be pug off by the sadness of part one, part 2 and 3 more than make up for it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • R. Howlett
  • 10-27-15

Actions always have consequences!!

If there was ever a book to describe the mess humans can make when trying to control others it is this.
I loved it. Well read by Rachel Atkins. A consummate performer.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • 01-30-16

Very good

This is a good story, quite absorbing and did not shy away from some of the more violent sides of life. Very enjoyable recommended

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs C Hutchinson.
  • 06-05-15

Just loved this book

Such a simple idea leading to a beautifully told, totally engaging and satisfying book. A great story wonderfully read.

14 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angela Boyd
  • 07-08-15

Feel good novel

Gripping. Carried along on the story. Loved it. The mix of 1939 and 1973 stop the story being too much of the same but the link of the 2 times is clever.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Fiona
  • 03-21-17

Such a great story

Loved this book and couldn't stop listening to it. Listened to it every spare minute I had and such a lovely ending.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Stephany
  • 11-08-15

My first Audible book

Really enjoyed this book and found it quite compelling listening. Not a significant work of fiction but good for a rainy day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • KAREN
  • 05-22-15

A captivating story

Well written and beautifully read. The story touches the heart without being soppy. A good book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kym Angrave
  • 03-05-18

Wonderful original story

Just finished listening to this great book
I couldn’t put it down, beautifully written and narrated
Looking forward to reading more by Kathryn Hughes

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Susan Johnson
  • 10-20-17

Best book I've read in ages

Fantastic and heart wrenching. A story of love, loss and destiny. Author Kathryn Hughes interweaves stories that span generations. I'm now going to buy every book she's written.