The Letter – Kathryn Hughes

I stumbled across this book when I was browsing featured iBooks on the Apple Store. I rarely buy books to read on my iPad – but after a busy weekend of travelling it seemed a perfect lightweight companion. It was also only 99p – bargain!

What was super about this book is the ease in which KH unfolds the story. I was gripped from the start. It is written so the plot allows the reader to understand the lives of two different women from different periods and places in time all linked by a letter.

The first is Tina. She’s a wife in a violent marriage during the 1970s and desperately toys with the idea of leaving her drunk, abusive husband. But, she gets pregnant and goes back to him (with fatal consequences which I won’t reveal!) I felt completely helpless and useless as I was reading. I so wanted Tina to get out and to find happiness again.

The second is Chrissie, a doctors daughter from 1939. She falls in love with Billy, gets pregnant and consequently is sent to a convent in Ireland. Her father sends her away due to the shame on the family. Her lover, Billy, tries to see her but fails and is called to go to war. However a letter is the lynchpin that holds this whole story together. The letter that her father kept in his jacket, and years later donates to a charity shop where Tina works. This is how these two women are linked and obviously why ‘The Letter’ is the title of this book. The quest begins for Tina to find Chrissie to return the letter to her and in turn for her son to find his mother.

Despite this being an easy read, and ultimately a happy ending (thank goodness!) the emotions throughout are so raw: the violence between Tina and Rick, the hurt between Chrissie and her father, the love between Chrissie and Billy and finally the emotions of the ending (again I won’t reveal but it is truly heartwarming). The belief that ‘everything happens for a reason’ is clearly apparent in this text.

A lovely little read with a few shocks and surprises along the way. A classic fairytale ending though. Well worth a read. 

BL x

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Filed under Book review, Romance

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