By Iona Grey
Published by Simon and Schuster (23 April 2015)
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.
Letters to the Lost had me captivated from the start. This wasn't just because it was a lovely story, but also because the narrative flowed so easily.
Late one evening, Jess escapes her abusive boyfriend to take refuge in an abandoned house. Injured and feverish, she doesn't dare to leave, concerned that her (ex)boyfriend will find her. A few days later, a letter arrives, written by 90-year-old American Dan Rosinski to Stella, his lost love and the original owner of the house. Dan is dying and is determined to find Stella before it's too late. Jess soon discovers a box filled with letters written by Dan, who was an American bomber pilot during World War 2. As she reads on, she becomes determined to track down Stella, but has little to go on.
This is a dual-narrative story of lost love, forbidden love and developing love. It's beautifully-written and the switching between the present day and the 1940s works really well. Although the book is over 500 pages, it certainly didn't feel like it. I read it in just two sittings as I couldn't put it down.
I received an Advance Reader Copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.