Title: Letters from Skye
Author: Jessica Brockmole
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Check this book out on Goodreads.
March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.
June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago. (Source: Goodreads)
Elspeth Dunn, a married Scottish poet, receives a letter from an American fan out of the blue one day, and it changes her life forever. She spends the next several years of her life falling in love with this American man, David Graham, and shattering her world as she has known it for so long. Years later Elspeth watches her own daughter fall in love with a man during war and it reignites her own passion for the love she found and lost during WWI. Elspeth’s daughter is left wondering about her mother’s past and her own origins.
I could not put the book down it was so enchanting. The story moves along very smoothly, though within the book it’s taking months and years between letters. Brockmole constructs a very smooth and moving story that you cannot take your eyes off of. She also develops very distinct voices between Elspeth, David, Margaret, and Paul. I absolutely fell in love with this book, and it’s one that no one I know has read so I’m so happy to share it with you.
This book is told entirely through letters, alternating by chapter between WWI and WWII, between Elspeth and David’s love story and the story of a mother and daughter learning and sharing their own history. These two stories run parallel to each other, until they finally intersect in the last moments of the book. I think Brockmole developed such a touching love story, one that built slowly until it overwhelmed Elspeth and David and they could no longer ignore what was happening to them. It swept me in and I was stuck on the edge waiting for things to just work for these two people who deserved to be happy together. The other story, the story of Margaret trying to learn about her mother, was as moving as the love story though. This was the strength of the book, what really made it such a hugely worthwhile read. The family connection and the strength of these two women in such hard times was so moving.
I am incredibly fond of this book, it took me by surprise. It’s rather short and a very quick read so I’d encourage everyone to give it a read.