Genre: Historical, literary
In early 1912, a fan from Illinois writes a letter to the little known poet, Elspeth Dunn, who has never left the tiny island of Skye. They begin a correspondence that spans several years, and ultimately leads to their falling in love in the midst of the first World War. In 1940, London is under siege, and Elspeth’s daughter Margaret finds the hundreds of letters her mother has kept ever since those first world war days. Elspeth won’t tell her what happened, and mysteriously disappears after Margaret discovers the letters. It’s up to Margaret to try to unravel the secret of what exactly happened between her mother and The American all those years ago.
Letters from Skye is a gorgeous book. The story of Elspeth and David’s relationship in the earlier part of the century is told entirely through their letters back and forth. I know it’s a lot more difficult to make a story feel multi-dimensional when told from a limited medium like that, but this book was truly beautifully done. The story was fleshed out with the tidbits you glean in the later time period of the story. It’s a complicated love story, in spite of the fact that you really only hear about what happened from two very biased parties as they relate to one another. In the end though, they did the right thing in the resolution, and at the very end, though it was long belated they fulfilled their destiny.
This is one of those books that just fits me. I love the style it was written in. I love the language. I love the time period. If I don’t particularly love some aspects of the story, it’s okay because they all do the right thing in the end and everything turns out happy. Have I mentioned lately how much I love happy endings? I do. I really do.
Letters From Skye was a pretty quick read. I finished it in an evening or two. Partly because–let’s be honest, here–once I started I could hardly put it down.
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.