Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey #BookReview

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

 Seventy 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.

My Review

This time-slip novel contains two love stories, one a passionate intense affair in wartime, the other a slow-burning relationship of two needy people who don’t fit into the high-achieving society of early 21st century England. The ultimate hero is Dan, an American pilot whose chances of survival are slim, yet who treats the fragile Stella with respect and compassion. His moving letters are discovered nearly 70 years later by Jess, a frightened young woman hiding in an abandoned house to avoid her criminal boyfriend.

As Jess reads through the dated letters, we enter the world of Stella Thorne, newly wed to Charles, a respectable vicar. An orphan, she dreams of homemaking and children but soon she realises that her husband has different expectations. Her chance meeting with Dan show her the possibility of real love but fate may not be on their side.

We are then introduced to Will, who works as an heir hunter in 2011 using research to discover relatives of those who have died intestate. He has stumbled into this career by accident and is aware that he is a social and intellectual disappointment to his parents.  Meeting Jess at her most vulnerable, he is keen to help her discover more about Dan and Stella, but he also wants to spend more time with her.

Letters to the Lost rises above the norms of a romance novel by its convincing characterisation and gripping parallel storylines. The precarious nature of life during wartime is effectively shown and at the same time the way in which people can so easily find themselves excluded by society nowadays is demonstrated clearly. It is a story of kindness and cruelty describing how mental health can be affected by the treatment of others. A compulsive read.

Letters to the Lost on Amazon UK

Published by lizannelloyd

Love history, reading, researching and writing. Articles published in My Family History and other genealogy magazines.

4 thoughts on “Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey #BookReview

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