Book Review: Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
July 18, 2013 10 Comments
The publishers say: “Elspeth is fond of saying to her daughter that ‘the first volume of my life is out of print’. But when a bomb hits an Edinburgh street and Margaret finds her mother crouched in the ruins of her bedroom pulling armfuls of yellowed letters onto her lap, the past Elspeth has kept so carefully locked away is out in the open. The next day, Elspeth disappears.
Left alone with the letters, Margaret discovers a mother she never knew existed: a poet living on the Isle of Skye who in 1912 answered a fan letter from an impetuous young man in Illinois.
Without having to worry about appearances or expectations, Elspeth and Davey confess their dreams and their worries, things they’ve never told another soul. Even without meeting, they know one another.
Played out across oceans, in peacetime and wartime but most of all through paper and ink, Letters from Skye is about the transformative power of a letter – the letter that shouldn’t have been sent, the letter that is never sent and the letter the reader will keep for ever.“
Letters from Skye: What I thought
This book is made up solely of letters. Many of them are written before and during the first world war, and others in the second world war. The wars serve as a background and are not a prominent part of the story.
Elspeth is a young poet on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, and she has never left the island. In 1912, she gets fan mail from a young man in America and they start a correspondence that lasts for several years. In 1940, her daughter discovers that her mother has a past that she doesn’t know anything about and she starts to investigate this.
Sometimes a bit too neatly, the letters describe Elspeth’s life as a twenty-something married woman, and Margaret’s search for her mother’s history.
The story was interesting but not not totally captivating. A lot of the time, not much happened with Elspeth and David, but because I already knew something about the future, through Margaret’s letters, it was interesting to see how that worked out.
In all, a well put-together story with a moving ending.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Number of pages: 304
First published: 2013 (August)
I got this: won it from Hutchinson publishers
Genre: historical fiction