Book Review: Letters to the Lost

letters_to_the_lostReview of: Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary

Jess is running away from her abusive boyfriend on an icy night in February in downtown London. When she comes to an abandoned flat, she has no choice but to break in or freeze to death.  Never intending to stay more than one night, but with few other options available, Jess is there in the morning when a curious letter arrives, and she finds herself swept up into a mystery and love story half a century old.  It’s the love story of Stella and Dan, an American airman, in 1942.  As the Second World War takes over their lives, they find each other to be pillars of stability.  Against all odds, they are determined to be together–and with Dan being a B-17 bomber pilot, with a survival rate of 1 in 5, those odds aren’t particularly good.  All they have are their letters, and when Jess stumbles into the unused flat and finds the letters, she sets out on a mission to set right their pasts and maybe, just maybe, bring them together at last.

Letters to the Lost was a great blend of historical story and current day, that definitely deserves the added title of literary fiction.  Usually when books do the flashback/flashforward, I find myself much more involved in the historical part of the story and completely UNinvolved by the present day part of the story.  In Letters to the Lost, the different components of the story really worked together to make one cohesive plot, instead of two completely different stories that just ended up tied together by chance.

That said, I do adore this style of book.  Old letters, abandoned houses, love story… it was speaking my language, almost before I even started reading.

And then after I started reading, I was so involved in it that I was actually upset when it ended.  It was definitely not the happy lovey-dovey ending I wanted, but I guess it was realistic, based on the rest of the book.  The ending wasn’t bad, it was just one of those melancholy types. I wanted more happiness for Stella and Dan, not just an ending.  Oh well. I know people like different things in a story.  My husband loves that melancholy type ending, and I’m more of a happily-ever-after style… to each his own.

If you like the historical/literary fiction genres generally, this one should be on your to-read list.  If you loved The Guernsey Literary and Potato-Peel Pie Society or Letters From Skye, pull up Amazon in between basting the turkey and making rolls and get this one NOW.  You know you wanted something to read over the holiday weekend 😉

I really, really liked it: 4 out of 5 stars.


Happy Thanksgiving Day, y’all! I’m thankful for good books and happy reading time, among other things.  I hope you are too!