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Letters from Skye

by Jessica Brockmole

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6787324,253 (3.79)94
A love story told in letters spans two world wars and follows the correspondence between a poet on the Scottish Isle of Skye and an American volunteer ambulance driver for the French Army, an affair that is discovered years later when the poet disappears.
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English (74)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
an epistolary novel written from various povs but the love stories, the integration of history, the clear delineation between characters, even supporting characters, was clear -- by the end I was in tears, I won't tell you if they were happy or sad tears though, no spoilers ( )
  SleepyBooksandCakes | Aug 22, 2020 |
Letters from Skye is a book about friendship, illicit love, families, jealousy, and more blended together in one narrative spanning two wars and two continents. In 1912, University of Illinois student David Graham writes a fan letter to a reclusive Scottish poet, Mrs. Elspeth Dunn, who lives on the Island of Skye. When Elspeth replies to David, they begin to fall in love by correspondence, sharing their wildest hopes, deepest secrets and favorite books over the next few years. But as World War I plunges Europe into chaos and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.

After the first chapter where we learn the beginning of the Elspeth/Davey love story, the novel shifts to 1940 and introduces a new character, a young woman in England writing to her mother in Edinburgh. Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen in love with a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Elspeth has warned her against wartime love affairs, but Margaret doesn’t understand why. After a bomb hits Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come tumbling down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts and Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone and what happened to her family almost three decades ago.

The plot isn't unique. This is a lightly romantic account set in the middle of both World War I and World War II, written solely in letter form, that explores life and relationships during wartime. It makes me sad to think, that in this electronic age, letters aren't written much any more. I really enjoyed reading a novel written entirely in this disappearing art form.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
Letters from Skye might be considered historical fiction but it was a beautiful love story set during both World War I and World War II as told exclusively through letters. It was magnificent. In this current day of text, tweets, abbreviations and a general misuse of the English language, this was such a reminder of what we are missing out on by abandoning the age old communication method of handwritten letters.

My grandparents died 10 days apart in 1989 after 52 years of marriage. I was 21 at the time. Some years later, (thankfully when I was old enough to appreciate it), I found a box of their letters to each other written when they were dating and living in two different states. I ordered them chronologically and spent an entire Saturday afternoon reading them. It is a very special memory to me. Reading Letters from Skye reminded me of that afternoon. I was unsure at first if I would like the format of only letters but the letters were so descriptive and engaging that I quickly forgot that they were the only medium being used to tell this story. Jessica Brockmole is quite talented with the English language and is herself a poet.

There are so many emotions that we fail to show in our verbal communication but for whatever reason we are able to show in written form. Letters from Skye reminds me of this and I hope to let it cause me to leave that legacy to my own children. ( )
  Beth_German | Mar 28, 2020 |
SWEDISH REVIEW

Breven från ön charmade mig från början med sin ovanliga uppbyggnad. Handlingen är helt konstruerad genom brev skickade mellan karaktärerna i boken. Just brevformen fick boken att kännas annorlunda och gav vad som skulle kunna vara en vanlig romantisk berättelse en känsla av något nytt. Men brevformatet är även en nackdel då beskrivningar och djupare inblick i karaktärerna saknas.

Allt börjar med ett brev, ett beundrarbrev från David till Espeth och jag fann inledningen nog det bästa med boken, när de lärde känna varandra och mer och mer blev mer familjära med varandra. Sedan börjar deras känslor för varandra växa allt mer och här börjar jag känna att berättelsen tappar lite fart, det blir lite för känslosamt och trånade och breven blev en aning tråkigare att läsa. Jag störde mig även på Espeth's bror som lade sig i lite för mycket i hennes liv.

Mitt i allt detta så har vi Margaret som försöker luska ut var henne mor är och som finner ett av Davids brev. Jag fann hennes sökande efter svar en drivande kraft genom boken men hennes egen kärlekshistoria kunde jag ha levt utan. Om hennes mors relation med David var en aning för känslosam så känns Margarets brevväxling med Paul torftig.

Men trots att Breven från ön inte helt övertygade mig så tycker jag att boken var värd att läsa och jag gillade verkligen att boken är uppbyggd på brev, men boken hade varit ännu bättre om jag hade kunnat knyta an mer till karaktärerna och utan det för att vara ärlig lite för välplacerade slutet!

Tack till Bazar Förlag för recensionexemplaret!

ENGLISH REVIEW

Letters from Skye charmed me from the beginning with its unusual construction. The plot is completely constructed by letters sent between the characters in the book. The book is completely constructed by letters sent between the characters in the book. This form feels different and gives what could be an ordinary romantic story a sense of something new. However, the letter format is also a disadvantage because I feel that the deeper descriptions and insight into the characters are missing.

Everything starts with a letter, a fan letter from David to Espeth and I found the introduction probably the best part of the book, when they got to know each other more and more became more familiar with each other. Then, their feelings for each other grow more and it's here I begin to feel that the story loses some momentum, it gets a little too emotional and I found the letters were a little boring to read. And, the whole affair, l I was not charmed and I was a bit annoyed with Espeth's brother who acted like he was the one that decided over Espeth's life.

Amidst all this, we have Margaret who tries to find out where her mother is, and who finds one of David's letter. I found her search for answers a driving force through the book, but her own love story, I could have lived without. If her mother's relationship with David was a little too emotional is Margaret's correspondence with Paul uninteresting.

But, despite that Letters from Skye did not completely entranced me, did I think that the book was worth reading and I really liked that the book is based on the letter, but I feel that the book would have been even better if I had been able to connect with more characters and without, to be honest, the well-placed ending!

Thanks to Bazar Förlag for the review copy! ( )
  MaraBlaise | May 19, 2019 |
Letters from Skye. Jessica Brockmole. 2013. This was a suggestion from Betty Cork, and I loved the book! It is a lovely love story told in letters. Elspeth Dunn, a published poet who has never left the island of Skye, receives a fan letter from David Graham, a college student in the U. S. and so begins a love story in letters. Time moves from WWI to WWII and is told through the letters of Elspeth and David as well as Elspeth’s daughter and her fiancé. The letters from David while he is an ambulance driver during WWI presents a vivid picture of the horrors of war. It is beautifully written. ( )
  judithrs | Nov 15, 2018 |
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Dear Madam,
I hope you won't think me forward, but I wanted to write to express my admiration for your book, From an Eagle's Aerie.
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A love story told in letters spans two world wars and follows the correspondence between a poet on the Scottish Isle of Skye and an American volunteer ambulance driver for the French Army, an affair that is discovered years later when the poet disappears.

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March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.

June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

Sparkling with charm and full of captivating period detail, Letters from Skye is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity, and marks Jessica Brockmole as a stunning new literary voice.
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