Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

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Such a beautiful masterpiece of a book. If I didn’t have to do a ‘normal job’ I would have devoured this in one sitting. Thank you to Netgally and Simon and Schuster UK for my advanced reading copy.

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five…He promised to love her forever Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan’s words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late? Now forever is finally running out.

I don’t quite know how to put into words how amazing this book is. It is without doubt one of the best books I’ve read this year so far. From the moment you meet the characters you feel as if you know them. Jess has fell on hard times and when escaping from an abusive boyfriend stumbles across an old house that hasn’t been lived in for some time.

Little did she know that the little house on Greenfields Lane would change her life for the better by introducing her to Dan and Stella and their poignant love story. When Jess comes across a box full of letter she starts to piece together the lives of the war sweethearts and makes it her mission to seek a happy ending for them both.

In doing so she unexpectedly comes across Will, who inevitably saves her life in more ways than one. They are both troubled souls, running from their pasts and just so happen to be the best thing that has ever happened to each other. There’s nothing I love more than a love story, especially a bittersweet one.

The book flits between 1943 and 2011 but at no point gets confusing and truly takes you on a wartime whirlwind. From the descriptions of London as it was then to the adequacy of the life these young servicemen would have lived and died was truly harrowing. It is provoking and infuriating and exquisite and charming all in equal measure.

Letters to the lost is a beautifully written book about love, lose, finding the one person in the world who makes everything worthwhile and about how if we love something or someone enough we should fight for it.

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