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Book Review

Book Review: ‘The Letter’ by Kathryn Hughes

I finished this book a few weeks back (I must get into the habit of reviewing immediately after I’51c4kcbsxbl-_sx324_bo1204203200_ve read a book because there’s only so much stuff I can store sensibly away in my sillyhead – I’ve lost that ‘oooh that was nice’ feeling I remembered having when I put it down at the end).

So.  It was.  Nice, that is.  I loved the premise; the blurb pulled me in and made me want to add it to my wish list, and so here’s what it say on’t back cover:

” Tina Craig works all the hours she can and volunteers in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home.  Going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked.  Tina opens the letter and reads it – a decision that will alter the course of her life for ever.

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right.  On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future.  It does… in more ways than he can imagine…”

And so the story begins with Tina leading her unhappy (at home) life, where she has a cantankerous husband who treats her like poo.  And then we travel back in time to just after WWII, when we meet Christina, a shy girl who meets the enigmatic Billy and falls in love with him.

The story was a good one, I flew through it with ease, but I just felt a little ‘left out’ if that makes any sense?  I didn’t feel very deeply invested in any of the characters – as though they were sketches of characters that hadn’t been properly fleshed out.  I could see everything happening as if it were a film, but I’d like to have stayed in one character’s head for longer than a chapter or two to have really got to know them well.

I’d recommend this as an easy read with a compelling storyline; the sort of book you definitely want to get to the end of to find out what happens, but with characters that don’t readily stay with you very long afterwards.

Understandably, this was an e-bestseller and I don’t doubt any of the glowing reviews; I just didn’t find it as absorbing as I like a book to be.  Maybe I’m getting harder to please in my old age, but I know what I like.  And I like a bit of irony, so after I’ve pressed ‘publish’ on this blog post, I’m putting ‘The Letter; into my charity box so that someone else can have a nice read of it as well.

5/10 great plot, nice characters, easy read.


About debscooper

I read, I write, I tweet, I blog and I avoid housework whenever I can.


One thought on “Book Review: ‘The Letter’ by Kathryn Hughes

  1. I read this too Deborah. Like you I was drawn in by the blurb, I thought it was a good read but not the best. I think blurb is key to getting a book out there and connecting with readers. I’m working on my blurb for North Sea Shells. My debut novel. Fancy that! Me with a debut novel.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by carole925 | April 3, 2016, 1:28 pm

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