I received a free ARC of Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey in order to review on this blog. It’s being published by Simon and Schuster on 23rd April 2015 and everyone who reads this review needs to go and pre order it now. Take my word for it, you won’t regret it.
1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…
Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five…
He promised to love her forever
Sixty years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan’s words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late?
Now forever is finally running out.
This book is amazing. I’ve only just finished it but I want to dive back in at the beginning and start it again and as much as I really wanted to know what happened I was desperate for it not to end.
Letters to the Lost affected me in a way a book hasn’t for the a very long time – at the end of last year I wrote a blog post about my favourite book of the year. I found it hard to choose last year but I suspect this will be this year’s book of the year. It’s certainly better than anything I’ve read so far this year or at all last year. I can’t imagine what it would take to find a book I enjoyed more than this.
Years ago there was a book doing the rounds at CAB. Everyone loved it but by the time the copy got to me I gave up on it after several chapters. It was good but having heard from several people how great it was it didn’t live up to the hype. I don’t think that would be the case with Letters to the Lost (although I don’t intend to lend anyone my copy in case they don’t return it)
But just in case you need more than hype I loved the realism of the bits set during the war. Stella’s naivety and growth was brilliant. Jess’s troubles were all to familiar to me as I’ve seen many a CAB client in similar situations – ones that aren’t often handled in fiction but which Iona Grey did impeccably.
It was gritty and romantic and heartwarming and more than just a fluffy love story. Plus it included some disabled characters and one of the very real (and disturbing) issues disabled people faced at that time.
Sometimes you hear the phrase “an epic love story” used to describe a book or a film. And it’s one of those things that I’m never quite sure what it means. With Letters to the Lost I finally figured it out.