Reviewed by Lisa Redmond
UNITED BY LETTERS. SEPARATED BY AN OCEAN. DEVASTATED BY WAR.
A letter isn't always just a letter. Words on the page can drench the soul.
Elspeth Dunn, a published poet living on the Isle of Skye, answers her first fan letter from Davey Graham, an impetuous young man in Illinois. Without having to worry about appearances or expectations, Elspeth and Davey confess their hopes, dreams and fears, things they've never told another soul. Even without meeting, they know one another. But as World War I engulfs Europe and Davey volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait on Skye, anxious for his return; wondering if they'll ever get a chance to meet.
Letters from Skye is the debut novel from Jessica Brockmole. She was inspired by a trip to Skye with her family while she was living in Edinburgh a couple of years ago. The story began as scribbled notes that she wrote just for herself.
The story is told entirely through letters between the main characters which I loved and it takes place during both World Wars which I also loved. Beginning in 1912 a young student Davey Graham writes a letter to a poet he admires Elspeth Dunn and she replies and a warm and loving friendship begins. In 1940 the adventurous Margaret writes to her mother and her friend Paul a pilot in the Royal Air Force desperate to discover more about her mother's mysterious past and learn who her father could be.
Alternating the two storylines means that the reader cannot resist reading on desperate for more and I found myself finishing this book in a day. An utterly enchanting read which will appeal to fans of quality historical fiction or if like me you just love anything set in Scotland.
Thanks so much Sharon and the publishers for the chance to read this wonderful book.