My Thoughts: Letters from Skye (Jessica Brockmole)
A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.
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.
Publication Date: July 9, 2013
Source: ARC won from Goodreads
Let me start off by saying I primarily read Young Adult fiction. I'm not a young adult myself, but I'm drawn towards that genre for one reason or another. I also tend to stay away from historical stuff. If I had seen this book in a store, I never would have picked it up. And that would have sucked.
The year is 1912. Elspeth Dunn is a young poet who lives a quiet life in Scotland on the Isle of Skye. One unsuspecting day she receives her very first fan letter from an American student named David. The rest is history.
Elspeth and David start up a long-distance friendship made up of letters that turns into a love story that is neither perfect nor easy. There is more then just distance that their love for each other has to overcome: war, danger, marriage, family, friends. Their own self-doubts. It's a love story that spans decades and leaves the reader guessing until the very end.
I LOVED this book. LOVED. There's no better word to describe Letters from Skye than beautiful.
The story is revealed bit by bit in letters. You get to know Elspeth and David and how their friendship initially starts and then how that friendship evolves to something more. Throughout the chapters, the story flashes forward to 1940 when we meet Elspeth's daughter Margaret. There's another war going on and this has caused old memories to surface. Margaret is now in a long-distance relationship with a boy who has gone off to war and her mother is warning her against giving her heart away for the breaking. Margaret knows nothing about her father or the first volume of her mother's life. All she knows is that her mother has a suitcase of old letters addressed to a girl named Sue, signed from a boy named David.
I loved the way this book was written. The author did a remarkable job of plotting out the story and it flowed incredibly well. I could have easily devoured this story in hours, but I forced myself to slow down so I could absorb and digest every word. The characters are well written, fully developed and easy to pull for. All I wanted was for Elspeth and David to have their happy ever after. But life isn't like that. Real life is hard. Love is hard. And the author portrayed the story and the characters in a very realistic light.
"I should have told you, should've taught you to steel your heart. Taught you that a letter isn't always just a letter. Words on the page can drench the soul. If you only knew."
"You'll never know if you're on the right course for your life until you see the course that has brought you to where you are today."
"You are the reason I frown at the sunrise and smile at the sunset. Frown because I have to face the day alone, without you by my side. Smile because that's one less day we have to spend apart."
"As Christmas Eve turns into Christmas Day, right at the stroke of midnight, step outside and tilt your face up at the moon. Taste the snowflakes on your lips and imagine they are my lips touching yours."
If this book wasn't on your radar before, it should be now.
Letters from Skye was romantic and inspiring and beautiful. It was sad and heartbreaking and difficult. It's a love story that transcends. And it never gives up. 5/5!
*I won a free ARC from Goodreads firstreads giveaway. This was my honest review.*