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LETTERS FROM SKYE: a novel ~Jessica Brockmole


LETTERS FROM SKYE is just a beautiful read.  Don’t you just love getting letters in your mailbox that you can go back and read and reread?  I enjoy writing letters also. As a child every week a letter came from my Grandmother to our house and after my mother read it to herself, she shared it with the whole family.   I even enjoy getting emails which are long and sharing.  This is a story about a time when there were no emails or computers, about when folks read lots and lots of books, and about when communicating via letter was an art form.

Every Sunday afternoon, before starting her prep work for school the next day, my mother replied to her Mother.  Grandmother lived so far away and we did not have any way to know her except through her letters.   We have a bundle of letters from my Father when he was serving on a ship during WWII; they share a history with us of what he was experiencing and his perception of war. These letters are so thoughtful and descriptive we gained a deeper understanding of war about who he was as an officer and what he was enduring.

A best friend studying in England sends a copy of a book of poetry written on the Isle of SKYE to his peer who is still in college in the USA.  The recipient of the volume is so moved by the author’s verses that he sends her a fan letter and begins a correspondence which will last for many, many years and change lives through one war and into the next conflict.

Elspeth and David begin to regularly communicate with each other.  They share the daily trials and actions and then add humor and depth to the conversation.  They share secrets and feelings, such as Elspeth’s fear of water so that she has never been off the Island at all (not even to attend University) and David shares that he does not want to be a doctor as is expected by his family.  THE LETTERS FROM SKYE are warm and reflective of a growing friendship and a budding love.

Then there are the obstacles of bombing raids, rationing, and travel prohibitions when the USA will not enter the War effort.  One is married and one is engaged to be married and the families are not in tune with what is happening.  David joins an Ambulance Field Service in France to get across the ocean and the letters continue and Elspeth keeps each and every one.

LETTERS FROM SKYE is a slow read and a delicious read, which needs to be savored by the eye and breathed deeply into the soul.  There is storytelling within the story itself and the poetic descriptions are delightful. Added to the conversation are Elspeth’s letters to her daughter Margaret in 1940, as her daughter falls in love with a Royal Air Force pilot and her mother feels it is vital to warn her about wartime and finding love.

Jessica Brockmole has shared with us her beautiful debut novel and it is already to be published in 20 countries.   You will want to curl up under the apple tree with this one; 300 pages of letters to be read and re-read, LETTERS FROM SKYE are letters to enjoy.

If you purchase anything from Amazon or Powell’s from this site, I will receive a few blossoms in my bouquet.  Thank you.  Donations also gratefully received.

tlc logo I received an advance reader’s edition of this book from TLC online book tours and Ballantine Books.   They are offering a giveaway copy of this lovely story for a comment.  Thank you for sharing this book with me.  I enjoyed the read very much.

Related Reading:
In The Garden of Stone
Our Love Could Light The World
The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

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14 Responses to “LETTERS FROM SKYE: a novel ~Jessica Brockmole”

  1. Alien Ghost Says:

    Hi Patricia,

    I don’t know why, but it seems to me it is also sort of a nostalgic read?

    Raul
    Alien Ghost recently posted..Enemies at WorkMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Yes indeed historic fiction is over romantic and nostalgic.

    It was a good read on a hot summers day and then the next few!

    T hank you for your good comment Raul,

    Are you staying cool this summer?

  2. Laurie Buchanan Says:

    Patricia – I’ve been to the Isle of Skye many times and reading your beautifully painted word picture of this book has tugged at my heartstrings. Hence, it’s been added to my reading list – thank you.

    Patricia Reply:

    Laurie,
    I tried to get to the Isle of Skye and this book made me want to make another attempt. My daughter and partner are thinking about biking south to north the UK and ending up on a ride to the ISLE.

    It is a lovely read

  3. Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours Says:

    I’m so looking forward to reading this … epistolary novels are one of my favorite things!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

    Patricia Reply:

    Heather,
    I love writing and receiving letters – it was a great read. The pleasure was mine

  4. Diane@BibliophilebytheSea Says:

    This sounds a bit different from anything I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for sharing.
    Diane@BibliophilebytheSea recently posted..After Her; Joyce MaynardMy Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Diane
    I enjoyed this read very much because it was different, clever, and intelligent.

  5. Colleen Says:

    I have this book waiting in line on my Nook and am anticipating it even more after reading your review. Our family history and roots run deep in this wonderful place.

    I so enjoy and anticipate your book reviews Patricia. You have become one of my go-to sources when I am looking to find new and interesting/relevant books to read.

    Patricia Reply:

    Colleen,
    As well my family has connections to Scotland and the Isle – it makes the read quite personal and give one a look at the history of the place in more detail.

    Colleen thank your for your wonderful words. I love reading and sharing what I have learned with others. It is so nice to know that my efforts are appreciated.

    Happy Reading to you

  6. Talon Says:

    This sounds like a lovely book, Patricia. I have a very dear friend who I always write letters to…other than the phone it’s the only way we communicate and have been doing for over 30 years. We love having the written history of our friendship.

    Patricia Reply:

    Kim, I do so love to receive and write letters. My letter writing friends have all stopped and so I think of writing blog posts as my lettered connections now.

    A lovely read indeed

  7. Hilary Says:

    Hi Patricia .. letters – this sounds like one beautiful book and what a fun story .. though I’m sure there were difficulties to overcome ..

    I’ve never been to the far north of Scotland .. I probably will get there one day .. but the story behind the letters and within the letters sounds fascinating ..

    As you know I wrote masses of letters when my mother was alive to keep everyone informed .. 95% were via mail .. yes they were ’round robins’ but informative ones and always with that additional personal snippet …

    Interesting read and great review .. cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted..Money, Money, Money .. keeps the world going round – Women, Women, Women usually do too …My Profile

    Patricia Reply:

    Hilary,
    I think your may get to the North of Scotland before me! Not for lack of trying :)

    It is a beautiful story and I think it would appeal to your letter writing soul and your sense of history.

    I keep hoping my extended family will do a round robin letter but I think they are all into connecting on Facebook and not waiting for letters to post and arrive. I still have a couple who send Christmas Cards, but most send email letters.

    My husband was just backpacking for 10 days and all the mail that came our way was for him. I did not even get an ad! ( That is good).

    Thanks you for dropping by and your nice comment. I wish I could send the book your way too…
    Patricia recently posted..QUARTET: A MOVIE ON A HOT SUMMER’S DAYMy Profile