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February 25, 2014

Letters From Skye



Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
Historical Fiction
2013 Random House Audio
Readers: Elle Newlands, Katy Townsend, Adam Alex-Halle and Guy Burnet
Finished on 12/1/13
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)



Publisher's Blurb:

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: Twenty-four-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.

I listened to this epistolary novel three months ago and while I found it somewhat predictable, I enjoyed the audio performance and was entertained from start to finish. Fans of historical fiction such as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, or nonfiction such as 84, Charing Cross Road, (both of which are also epistolary works) will undoubtedly find it equally charming.

10 comments:

  1. I pretty much felt the same way. It was good, but not great.

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    1. Yep. I'll be interested to see what she comes up with next.

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  2. I was in such a hurry to read this when it first came out. My mother and sister both read it and they agree with your 'good, but not great' verdict. I'm not quite as anxious to read it now...

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    1. It's worthwhile, but not a blockbuster like Me Before You or Eleanor & Park. I don't think I'd dismiss it completely.

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  3. I am glad you enjoyed this one. Charming is good even when predictable. :-)

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    1. Sometimes, it's just nice to listen to a good book. Doesn't have to be outstanding. Entertaining and compelling is good enough for me.

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  4. I am going to listen to this sometime this year. I went back and forth on wanting to read it or listen to it, but I went with audio.

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    1. I think the audio works just fine, in spite of the epistolarly format, thanks to nice performance by the readers.

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  5. Good not great was my verdict too. I will look forward to what she comes up with next as it was a good debut.

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    1. Hi, Marg! Guess this verdict is the consensus, eh? I'm also looking forward to her next book, so that's a good thing, right?

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