February 25, 2014
Letters From Skye
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
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)
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.