Monday 31 March 2014

Letters from Skye

Finished March 31
Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

This novel, told in letters, begins with a fan letter from a young man, David Graham, in Illinois to a poet on the Isle of Skye. The poet, Elspeth Dunn, writes back, and the two begin a correspondence that grows into friendship and love. But Elspeth is married, and while their marriage has not been going well, she is torn between her feelings for David and her responsibilities to Iain.
When the first World War begins, David signs up as an ambulance driver, and the two finally connect in person. The feelings are strong, and the letters continue between the two young people. Iain has gone away to war and distanced himself from Elspeth, never writing to her, and when he goes missing, her guilt over David comes back to haunt her. But her love for David persists and her worry when he too goes missing is almost too much.
As World War II is in its early days, Elspeth's daughter Margaret finds that her mother has has old memories awakened after a bomb attack, and Margaret begins to search out her mother's past to make sense of what is happening.
This story of love, of mothers and their children, of war, is brought to life through these letters. I loved the details of the relationship and the descriptions of the house Elspeth built on Skye. I loved Maither and her quiet support for Elspeth throughout.
A lovely story.


  1. I've heard such good things about this one. Thank you for your thoughts.

  2. I have this. Now I just need to find time to read it!

  3. Well, I don't recommend what I did Kailana. I have pneumonia and have little energy to do anything but read right now (and a little simple needlework). I am getting a fair bit of reading done though!
    I'm sure you'll enjoy it Irene, based on some of the other books you have liked.

  4. I liked this one, but didn't love it as much as you did, I don't think. I couldn't quite warm to Elspeth...loved the settings though, and thought it was pretty good overall. I guess the comparisons to the Guernsey book are hard to live up to for any new epistolary novel recently!