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Letters from Skye

by Jessica Brockmole

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7107324,798 (3.77)106
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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» See also 106 mentions

English (75)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
This epistolary novel covers two generations. In 1914 Elspeth, a published poet who has never left the island of Skye in the Hebrides begins correspondence with Davey, a college student and University of Illinois. About half of the book is the letters exchanged between them from that time until the midst of WWI when Davey joined the Volunteer Ambulance Service in France.
The remainder of the book are letters written by Margaret, Elspeth's daughter, who is 23 at the beginning of WWII. Margaret knows nothing of her mother's past or the identity of her father. When a bomb hits their flat in Edinburgh, a trove of letters from Elspeth's past are unleashed from hiding. Elspeth disappears after the bombing and Margaret sets out to solve the mystery of the letters and the disappearance of her mother.
There are two romances in this story, though Elspeth's dominates and Margaret's is secondary. Some of the scenarios are a bit unlikely, but are necessary vehicles for the story. ( )
  tangledthread | Oct 23, 2021 |
This was a quick enjoyable read written entirely in the format of correspondence between the various characters. Through this device the author manages to depict a strong sense of time and place of both world wars and the impact on those who fought and those waiting at home. ( )
  HelenBaker | Jun 19, 2021 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
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Jessica Brockmoleprimary authorall editionscalculated
Newlands, ElleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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