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C. P. Lesley

Bookworm, writer, radio host—I blog about history, fiction, and publishing in the Internet Age. You can find the full blog on my website. This space is for books.

Letters from Skye - Jessica Brockmole In March 1912, a college senior in Urbana, Illinois, writes a fan letter to a poet whose works he has just discovered. She writes back, initiating a correspondence that soon blossoms into friendship, then love. By that time, Europe has tumbled into what will become known as the Great War, and its repercussions reach even distant Skye, the poet’s home.

Two decades later, the echoes of these events still reverberate. A new war brings a new heroine, the poet’s daughter, face to face with the secrets hidden in her mother’s past.

I picked up this book two nights ago, intending to take a look at it and put it back in the queue. Fifty pages later, I forced myself to stop so that I could get some sleep. I couldn’t wait to pick it back up again and read it straight through to the end. The story is heartbreaking and heartening, quiet but compelling. The characters shine through their letters, and reading their conversations with one another has the transgressive appeal of sneaking a peek at someone else’s diary. The writing glows. And much of the action takes place in one of the wildest and most beautiful settings on earth. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.

I received a free copy of Letters from Skye in return for my honest review, the result of a giveaway hosted by the Historical Fictionistas group on GoodReads. For that reason, I am making an exception to my usual rule of not rating or reviewing books by authors whom I have interviewed or hope to interview for New Books in Historical Fiction.