Book Review: Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey


Jess Moran, running away from her abusive boyfriend, on cold February evening stumbles into an abandoned house. All she wants is shelter and a place to hide until the next day. She gets drawn into a pair of lover’s star crossed lives when she ends up reading a letter that comes in the next day. A letter to a Mrs S Thorne, from Dan.

She soon finds a stack of letters from Dan to Stella. As Jess reads through the old letters, Stella and Dan’s life plays out in front of her eyes.

Stella meets Dan in 1942. Stella, in a loveless, convenience marriage with Charles, a vicar, had been leading a blameless, dutiful life when she was dragged into town by her feisty friend, Nancy. She runs into Dan, an American pilot and there is an instant connection between them.

Before she knows it, Jess had almost forgotten her own troubles and had an almost single minded determination to find out if Stella was still alive. She knows she has to, Stella and Dan’s love, feels so powerful, so unique that she feels propelled to do what she can. Dan’s love for Stella shows her what love is and just how powerful it can be.

She finds an unlikely ally in Will Holt, who worked with a probate research firm. They made their money finding heirs of people who have died and claiming a portion of their inheritance. Will had been tracking a Miss N. Price’s relatives when he runs across Jess, who had inadvertently squatted at Miss Price’s old residence.

What is the connection between Stella Thorne and N. Price and do they eventually find her? You’ll have to read it to find out.

A beautifully written book, with emotions well captured, be it Stella’s situation with her husband Charles, or Jess’s struggle for survival, or Will’s unhappy life of being a ‘second best’ or Stella and Dan’s star crossed lives. The author has done an amazing job with this story, spanning decades. The frugal life of the wartime, runs parallel to Jess’s situation of almost being forced to forage to survive. I’ve always enjoyed books with parallel narratives, and this one does that very well indeed. Each thread of narrative, intertwining seamlessly.

A book that grips you right from the word go. An un-put-downable book, that had me captive until the very end. A beautiful romantic story beautifully narrated, an emotional roller coaster ride that keeps the reader’s interest right till the end. A 4.5/5 book for me.

Thank you, Netgalley, and the publishers for the review copy of this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

This book is available to pre-order from Amazon(UK).