Letters From Skye

Letters From Skye

A Novel

Book - 2013
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A love story told in letters spans two world wars and follows the correspondence between a poet on the Scottish Isle of Skye and an American volunteer ambulance driver for the French Army, an affair that is discovered years later when the poet disappears.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2013]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780345542601
0345542606
Branch Call Number: BROCKMOLE
Characteristics: 290 pages ; 22 cm

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From Library Staff

List - Wartime Romance
ArapahoeKati Apr 29, 2019

Lots of lovely letters + friendship into romance + WWI.

CASTING CALL: I could see Rose Leslie or Lily James (both from Downton Abbey) as Elspeth and someone like Sam Claflin as David. ArapahoeKati

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ArapahoeKati Nov 15, 2016

This novel will stick with you for a long time. I loved the characters. I loved the letters. I basically want to time travel back to Skye and be in this book.

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ArapahoeLesley Nov 23, 2016

Just a lovely historical fiction novel based on the beautiful Isle of Skye.

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ArapahoeAlyson Aug 11, 2016

Letters from Skye combines everything I like in fiction - history, characters that really come alive, cross generational tales, a sense of mystery...


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RebelBelle13
Nov 25, 2019

I read quite a bit of historical fiction, but not so much about World War I and II. Letters From Skye is charming, yet forgettable. It's a breeze to get through, since the entire book is told in letter format, with a short story and a few newspaper articles thrown in for good measure. Ironically, this couple, who has 95% of their interactions on paper, suffer from miscommunication- and that is one of my least favorite cliches. The ending was unbelievably frustrating. There's an important plot point revealed at the end of the book (like it's a big secret) that I figured out from the first chapter. I'm still trying to decide if it was meant to be a big reveal or not. Not only that, the issues they all had could have been cleared up with a single conversation- a visit, or a meet up. It's like Elspeth, Finlay and Davey spent 20 years in a coma and just suddenly woke up one day in the 40's and decided to fix their lives.
I'm not really sure who this book appeals to. There's not really enough here to engage a historical fiction/WWI/WW2 fan, and there's not really enough of a romance here to satisfy the romantics. Since the story is all told in letters, what little actual contact the characters have with each other is recounted and referred to in the past, and there isn't much detail. It's decent for what it is. It reads quickly and it's entertaining, but it's also frustrating and left me wanting. If you're looking for something light and easy without a ton of substance, this is it.

s
Sansha
Oct 11, 2018

A wonderful love story spanning the decades between the First and Second World Wars.

o
olemissann
Oct 22, 2017

Beautiful love story that spans two generations and two World Wars. I especially enjoyed the detail and history provided about military rescue ambulance drivers in WWI. My grandfather was a U.S. army medic and ambulance driver, so it was inspirational to learn more details about his service in WWI.

samdog123 Jul 15, 2017

Lovely easy read. The main characters, Elspeth and Davey, fall in love through an exchange of letters. As a young college student, Davey writes to Elspeth and expresses his admiration for her book of poetry. Elspeth, living on the remote island of Skye, responds and so begins a correspondence that begins before the first world war and continues all throughout it. I find books told in letter format very easy and comfortable to read, almost like short stories. Very enjoyable and highly recommended.

d
Debbr2
Mar 02, 2017

I read this book in one afternoon about a year ago and I took it out again today only to finish it again in one sitting. I must say this is one of my favourite books of all time!

ArapahoeLesley Nov 23, 2016

Just a lovely historical fiction novel based on the beautiful Isle of Skye.

ArapahoeKati Nov 15, 2016

This novel will stick with you for a long time. I loved the characters. I loved the letters. I basically want to time travel back to Skye and be in this book.

ArapahoeAlyson Aug 11, 2016

Letters from Skye combines everything I like in fiction - history, characters that really come alive, cross generational tales, a sense of mystery...

c
CrochetCat374
May 22, 2016

I enjoyed this moving story of wartime romance between Elspeth--a Scottish poet who lived on the island of Skye--and David, an American student who sent her her first fan letter. The path of their romance throughout the book was extremely predictable, but it was beautifully written. I thought the author did a good job with the epistolary format as well--the letters moved the story along while still sounding natural. The voices of Elspeth and David did read very similarly, though.

PimaLib_AmandaB Nov 28, 2015

As a writer, one of the hardest things to do well is compose a book where the plot and character development is composed entirely through correspondence between a handful of central characters. Jessica Brockmole pulls it off with flying colors in this gripping page turner that manages to be lyrical and poetic!

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DanniOcean Sep 02, 2013

An epistolary novel is one written as a series of letters or diary entries. Generally this makes them both quick to read and very tantalizing, as readers become virtual voyeurs into the lives of those penning the letters. Letters from Skye is this kind of novel, and also one that time-shifts to a certain extent. Elspeth Dunn, a poet on the Isle of Skye in Scotland is flattered to get a letter from a fan from America, a young man named Davey. Where Davey has bravado and gumption, Elspeth is spirited but cautious. Where Davey is uncertain of his future, Elspeth knows where she belongs. Yet so begins a long correspondence through which they encourage each other, share dreams and fears, and eventually fall deeply in love. World War I brings Davey to Europe and they are finally able to meet, but with devastating consequences.
A mere 20-odd years later on the eve of World War II, Margaret visits her mother Elspeth in Edinburgh to tell her she and her childhood sweetheart have become engaged, even though Paul has joined up to fight. Elspeth is furious but before Margaret can discern why, the house is nearly destroyed by a bomb and Margaret finds her shocked mother clutching a sheaf of letters from someone named Davey to a woman called Sue. And then... Elspeth disappears.
Elspeth has always hidden part of her past from Margaret, and now Margaret is determined to reach out to relatives she has never met to both find her mother and mend their rift, and discover what it was in her mother's past that made her shut herself off from part of the world. Thus readers are treated to not only Elspeth's full story, but Margaret's discovery of a family, a history and a mother she never really knew.
Although more bittersweet in nature, Letters from Skye is sure to please readers who enjoyed other epistolary novels like The Guernsey Literary and Potato-Peel Society, or novels of deep and enduring love, like Samatha Sotto's Before Ever After.

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