An accomplished novel from a talented writer, Letters to the Lost is the kind of love story that will sweep you away from the very first minute. Iona Grey's prose is warm, evocative, and immediately engaging; her characters become so real you can't bear to let them go.
Late on a frozen February evening, a young woman is running through the streets of London. Having fled from her abusive boyfriend and with nowhere to go, Jess stumbles onto a forgotten lane where a small, clearly unlived-in old house offers her best chance of shelter for the night. The next morning a mysterious letter arrives - and when she can't help but open it, she finds herself drawn inexorably into the story of two lovers from another time.
In London 1942, Stella meets Dan, a US airman, quite by accident. But there is no denying the impossible, unstoppable love that draws them together. Dan is a B-17 pilot flying his bomber into Europe from a British airbase, his odds of survival at one in five. The odds are stacked against the pair; the one thing they hold on to is the letters they write to each other. Fate is unkind, and they are separated by decades and continents.
In the present, Jess becomes determined to find out what happened to them. Her hope - inspired by a love so powerful it spans a lifetime - will lead her to find a startling redemption in her own life in a powerfully moving novel perfect for fans of Sarah Jio and Kate Morton.
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Great! But...get more depressing, I dare you!
I am a HUGE sucker for a WWII love story, so this was right up my ally. This was a particularly compelling love story - i.e. I spent much of the time having no idea how it was going to wrap up. Loved the writing, ADORED the performance (Avita Jay was amazing!), really liked how the story progressed, and how it all wrapped up, etc. But in thinking about it now that it's over - it was a bit depressing and a little too needlessly dark. There was such sadness around the 1943 story, that I felt just kept going and going and going. I needed a reprieve from all the heaviness. I feel like the author could have allowed one teeny tiny thing to go right for the 1943ers! Or at the very least given Stella somewhat of a backbone. That actually got really irritating. I feel like someone who is daring enough to have an affair, would also be a big enough risk-taker to not get walked all over for the majority of her life.
But, regardless - it was an amazing story and I wouldn't hesitate to read another book by this author.
- Corina Laufiso
Reading Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey is Time Well Spent