Letters to the Lost
by Iona Grey
Hardcover- $14.55

An accomplished novel from a talented writer, Letters to the Lost is a stunning, emotional love story. Iona Grey's prose is warm, ...

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  "Letters to the Lost is a Good Find" by nbaker (see profile) 07/27/15

This story sucked me in from the first chapter. I love stories that intertwine two separate times and lives. It is really the story of a love found during WWII in London. Orphaned at a young age, Stella has learned to survive and not hope for much happiness. Her life-long friend from the orphanage, Nancy, wants more from life than just getting by. Through the orphanage she receives a job as housekeeper at the vicar's house. Eventually they marry but the union is not what Stella expected nor desired. Enter a young American flyer who finds himself in London helping the RAF and on a lonely night with only his camera as a companion, takes a picture of a woman who's face and soul continue to haunt him. For some they say that love can be at first sight. Of course, we all know that life can be cruel and soul mates are not easy to find. Flash forward to 2011, a young woman, Jess, trying to escape the snares of an abusive boyfriend when she stumbles upon an abandoned home and realizes it is her answer for temporary shelter and safety. Inside she discovers an array of letters from a man on his deathbed who is desperately looking for his lost love. The gentle words and unspoken passion found on the pages of the letter so speak to Jess that she feels she has no other recourse but to try to find the one who is lost.

I felt the author did a wonderful job bringing to life full and rich characters, even if all appeared somewhat flawed or wanting. Their image and the reality of each of their souls just seemed to jump from the page. I always seem to be drawn to stories surrounding WWII but perhaps it is because it was such a monumental time in history. Never have so many lives been touched and altered by war. Sacrifice became a way of life, not only in the human sacrifice of soldiers and innocent citizens caught in the crossfire, but those left at home having to sacrifice goods, food, loss of income, etc. How I would never wish that for our world again, but how I would love to bring back that sense of brotherhood, compassion and unity among people.

This story is about sacrifices made in the name of love and commitment. It is about finding love in the most inopportune times and places. It is not a sappy love story (I hate those), but a very moving story about people who discover that life is not always about thinking of yourself, but the happiness and welfare of others -- even if they are only a name found in a letter.

 
  "" by Campfield (see profile) 08/23/15

 
  "" by janiedabs (see profile) 08/25/15

 
  "Eternal Love" by Betty56 (see profile) 12/15/16

Two couples separated by 70-so years try to overcome the obstacles in their way. It is 2011 and Dan is trying to find Stella, a woman he met while serving in the military in 1942. They were star-struck lovers who found love but then lost it. In present day 2011 Will and Jess also seek love. The chapters alternate between Stella-Dan and Will-Jess. It was easy to keep straight as to which characters in which time frame I was reading – most of the time.
Dan’s letter is found by Jess who has abusive boyfriend and, having no other place to go, takes shelter in an abandoned house. After reading the letter, Jess then discovers a box of old letters written by Dan to Stella. She decides she must find out who these people and why they were separated.
It was a good story but it just didn’t grab me. I found I could easily set the book aside and not pick it up again for a few days. This story seemed to drag quite often, and then suddenly all the loose ends get wrapped up neatly near the end of the book.
But it wasn’t all negative. I did think that the characters were well-developed and believable. I rooted for some while not liking others. Charles, Nancy, Jess, and Will were products of their time – doing what was expected of them, or rebelling against the social norms of the time. It was easy to judge them based on our societal norms now. It was difficult at times to accept that some of the characters’ behaviors, while not being acceptable in the present day, were the norm for that time. While some turned to finding ways to help, others decided to throw caution to the wind and live as though each day was the last. But above all this is a story of eternal love.

 
  "Letters to the lost" by Carolynr (see profile) 07/18/18

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?

It seems there have been quite a few books recently that are similar types of stories: WW II and told during that time and present day. Or else I've just read a lot of them lately. So that part was a little boring for me, but the story itself is pretty good. A good beach read.

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