Mary O. (Boston, MA)
The Lost Art of Letter Writing
As you pick up Letters from Skye and get engrossed in the love story against the backdrop of war, you suddenly realize that written letters are no longer the preferred method of communication. This is a captivating novel told through letters. You instantly are transcended to Elsbeth's and Davey's individual worlds and feel like you are writing the letters and living their lives. You grow to love the characters through their writing. I highly recommend this book - I LOVED IT!
Judith W. (Brooklyn, NY)
I enjoyed about 3/4s of this book, but had to struggle to get to the end. However, I did want to know how it turned out, so it couldn't have been too bad. The premise initially intrigued me, but it went on too long, and (though it may have been intended) the 'secret' of the protagonist's father did not last very long.
Elizabeth M. (Syracuse, NY)
I took this book away with me for a weekend by the water and it was perfect to read while laying in the sun. The book is entirely made up of correspondence between different family members and different sets of lovers during the two time periods surrounding World War I and World War II. For me, the fact that the whole story was made up of letters allowed me to be immediately invested in the story because I felt that I was in the character's heads and understanding their motivations. I really enjoyed the love story that developed between two of the characters, focusing as it did on the question of what the "right" choice is when it comes to love: to follow your heart, even if it means hurting someone, or if it is to remain faithful to those who you have made commitments to. As a fan of the post office and someone who fervently hopes that people will recognize the importance of letters, I hope that this book may inspire some readers to write love letters of their own. Another positive about this book was the very atmospheric descriptions of Isle of Skye in Scotland. The language the author used to describe the peat bogs, rolling hills and reliance on the sea was really wonderful.The only portions of the book that I was a bit disappointed with were some of the historical aspects. At times it seemed that certain historical facts or situations were raised when it was convenient to move the love story forward, but were not adequately explored to ground the story in a sense of reality.
Journey to Skye: slip into Elspeth's shoes, one letter at a time.
Elspeth is a Highlander Scot endowed to reside on the enchanted Isle of Skye, which sparks an intuitive creative voice inside her soul as a young girl. She learned to channel this gift by etching her observations and heartfelt wisdom into droplets of visceral poetry. Inasmuch as igniting a young man half a world away to discover something he had not felt was lost and conveyed his gratitude by penning her a letter. A letter he never expected her to reply too and thus began their entwined story. Of a woman entrapped by fear of the sea by which she couldn't allow herself to experience the world beyond Skye and of a boy struggling to become a man on the threshold of war.
Letters are at their very core intimately raw in their conveyance of our innermost thoughts and emotions. We can spilt onto a page by word and context a connection that goes deeper than the superficial, fully absent of pretense and rightly an instinctive pause to reveal our truest of selves. You become lost in their exchanges to the brink that each time slip between the World Wars loses its mirth and all that is left is the anticipation of what news the next letter shall bring! You're caught in a vortex of uncertainty living through each painful revelation and consolation between Elspeth and David.
And, yet this is a story that involves Margaret, the daughter of Elspeth who never knew her origins nor understood her mother as a woman. She too, is on a collision course with destiny that is half stitched in the past and half propelled forward by future events. Your heart aches and bleeds with Elspeth as she becomes fraught with despair and the anguish of the unknown. The churning of the tides ebbs and flows during the second half of the novel, but it's not foreshadowed to reveal the ending which washes away the dried tears and leaves the reader a smile upon her lips!
Kristen H. (Hagerstown, MD)
I did not want the story to end. This book was a great read. Thoroughly enjoyed every minute - I felt like I was transported to wherever the writers were. Jessica Brockmole hit this one on the head. It was a very refreshing read, never a dull moment nor was I lost as to who was speaking in the story. Look forward to reading more from this author.
Bink W. (Sopchoppy, FL)
Views of wartime
I generally do not enjoy novels of letters, but this one is well done. The romance is sort of cheezy, but seems in keeping with the times as did the young men's attitude towards war. Most just can't wait to get involved to prove their manhood and get some excitement in their lives. Very poignant and sad. It is a quick read and enjoyed the glimpse of the isolation of the Isle of Skye. Wish there had been a little more about their lovely music.
Laura L. (Providence, RI)
An easy read
I choose to review this book because I like historical novels. The concept that the novel is based on is interesting, yet I never felt the characters were fully developed. I also wanted to know more about living in wartime and the similarities between the mother and daughter. I would have liked more descriptions of the war stresses. The positive aspect of this novel is the focus on the lost art of letter writing. It does show how people would take the time to think about what they are communicating, and create a story for the reader. I would recommend this book as an enjoyable read, although it lacked the depth that I crave.