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