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Letters from Skye

by Jessica Brockmole

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole
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  • Published in USA  Jul 2013
    304 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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There are currently 30 reader reviews for Letters from Skye
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Power Reviewer Becky H

A lovely story told in the lost art of letter writng
This was a lovely story with interesting people telling of their hopes and dreams in letters. A bit of a mystery is thrown into the mix in the last quarter. Just as in actual letters sent to strangers the characters become known bit by bit as they write about themselves, their lives, their ideas and opinions. In the same way, you will want to know more than is revealed.
Book groups will find the ongoing discussion of education, choosing a career and choosing a life path a worthy topic for discussion. Other good discussion topics might be courage in attempting or reacting to new things, revealing your past to a child, choosing to serve in the military or not, reactions to loss and family secrets and, finally, how a person's attitudes and dreams change as time passes. A question to consider might be "how long would YOU wait at St. Mary's Cathedral?"
These letters are generally short and deal with only one topic at a time so the comparison to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is not really valid.
Power Reviewer 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!
Jorie (Florida)

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)

Wonderful Letters
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.
Mary Lou M. (N Royalton, OH)

Pleasantly surprised
The format of this book took awhile to grow on me, but then it engulfed me. The letters written by Elspeth to Davey and Davey's replies became intimate conversations that the reader is privileged to read. At first the letters written by Margaret to Paul during 1940, felt like an intrusion on the real story of Elspeth and Davey. Soon it became apparent how very important Margaret's letter were between her mother, Paul and especially her Uncle. What a wonderful story told through letters, which in this day and age has become a lost art. Wonderful book, would highly recommend it to my book club!
Carolyn L. (Summerville, SC)

Love to read letters!
I have enjoyed epistolary novels in the past, and this one is no exception. It was a pleasure reading all the letters, and this format is a good way to keep track of time and place. There were interesting but not deep descriptions of life during both world wars, and the characters were well-drawn. I think it would generate good book club discussion.
Terri O. (Chapel Hill, NC)

A gem of a novel
Letters From Skye is a beautifully written gem of a novel. Written entirely as letters spanning 1912 to 1940, it tells the story of Elspeth Dunn, a Scottish poet, and David Graham, an American college student. What begins as a fan letter from David to Elspeth deepens to friendship and eventually love. One of the great strengths of the novel is the honesty and authenticity of the letters, which are sometimes witty and playful, sometimes passionate, sometimes poignant, but always deeply affecting. Brockmore has managed to create two distinct voices that are utterly believable and to convey depth of character and feeling, as well as a wealth of historical detail, through the medium of letters alone. In this age of ephemeral e-mail and texts, Letters From Skye will make the reader nostalgic for handwritten love letters that can be tied up with ribbon and cherished forever. This book would appeal to those who liked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, as well as those who have a soft spot for 84 Charing Cross Road.
Carol R. (Foster City, CA)

Inhaled This Book!
I started reading this book on Saturday morning and finished it the same day. "Letters from Skye" is compulsively readable. Although the story was somewhat predictable, I wanted to know what happened next. The author's technique of alternating between mother's and daughter's stories kept the suspense building. I loved learning about the Isle of Skye.

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