Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Letters from Skye, by Jessica Brockmole

Letters from Skye is an epistolary novel set in Scotland during both the first and second world wars. During the earlier time period a young married poet is corresponding with an even younger American college student who admires her poetry. They fall in love but are separated when he enlists early in the war in France, as has her husband. Thirty years later, Elspeth's daughter Margaret is trying to unravel the mystery of her parents, although her mother refuses to tell her anything. When Elspeth disappears during the height of the London Blitz, Margaret panics and begins to track down distant relatives to learn the truth.

I enjoy epistolary novels, although I always get to the point of thinking that no one actually writes letters in the descriptive way necessary to tell a story like this. I found the characters and the plot compelling, although the choices the characters made (for "honor") don't always ring true. In general, I found Letters from Skye to be a well-written, easy to read, slightly overdramatic, but entirely enjoyable work. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys light historical fiction or epistolary novels.

Jessica Brockmole. Letters from Skye. New York: Ballantine Books, 2013. 287 pages. ISBN 9780345542601.

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