Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Letters From Skye

Letters From Skye / Jessica Brockmole
New York: Ballantyne, c2013.
290 p.

A quick and dirty review of this one: I read it for my own Postal Reading Challenge, and was very strongly reminded of the Guernsey book. It's set during the two wars, following Elspeth beginning a few years before WWI, with her daughter Margaret adding to the narrative at the beginning of WWII, when Margaret must go back through letters to discover her mother's past.

I liked it, and especially liked the character of Elspeth. She was interesting and quirky and I was fond of her at the start. But I wasn't overwhelmed by this book, probably because I didn't like David much, and their correspondence felt a little too contemporary and American to me. The tone was far too open and confessional. Plus the reader's emotional investment in the buildup of a relationship between them through their letters was a bit shattered when Elspeth casually mentions that she is married...what? That is kind of an important fact to know from the beginning.

Also, I'm not a big fan of the 'crossed wires' storyline which results in two characters who are meant for each other to waste 20 or 30 years apart because of a simple misunderstanding which could have been resolved with a bit of gumption and research in the first place! But that's just me.

Anyhow, it was interesting, and the setting was really lovely. The concept was good but the letters didn't hit the right note for me. I preferred the openness and insouciance of The Guernsey Book, which avoided the emotional hand-wringing that permeated this story. It was not a bad book, but not one I'll ever reread either. But I absolutely love this cover :)


  1. I had this on my wish list before your challenge. I am hoping I will like it if I get a chance to read it in 2014...

    1. I hope so -- and nice to hear you're pondering challenge titles...

  2. I keep running into review of this book...but for some reason I can't make myself read it. I don't know why; I normally love epistolary novels. Maybe I'll just reread The Guernsey book instead. I love that one!

    1. A Guernsey reread is probably a better choice anyhow. I didn't feel that this really nailed the epistolary format the way that the Guernsey book did.


Thanks for stopping by ~ I always enjoy hearing your comments so please feel free to leave some!