Book Review: Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

Title: Letters to the Lost
Author: Iona Grey
Publication Date: 23 April 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Twitter: @Iona_Grey
Rating: 5 out of 5


1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…
Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just on in five.
…He promised to love her forever
Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgoten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan’s words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late?
Now forever is finally running out.
Thank you to Simon & Schuster UK and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Letters to the Lost is a dual-time narrative, set in London both during Word War II and the present day.

Through a series of letters found in a run down house, Letters to the Lost provides us with an epic love story, following the blossoming but impossible relationship between the beautiful British girl, Stella Thorne, and the dashing US bomber pilot, Dan Rosinski. Stella is a naive, parentless girl, newly married to the local vicar and who’s only ambition is to have her own home and family. The vicar is a cold, unloving husband and when Stella accidentally meets Dan, they quickly fall in love. Stella and Dan know that the odds are stacked against them. Stella is already married and Dan’s chances of survival until the end of the war are only one-in-five. However, they fall hopelessly in love and dream of a life together. Fate tears them apart and they spend decades living seperate lives on different continents, yet Dan has never forgotten Stella or their time together. Dan knows that he does not have long left and is trying to find Stella before it’s too late.

In the present day, Jess is running from her abusive partner and her dead-end life. She hides in a derelict cottage where she finds a letter from Dan, trying to contact Stella. She then finds a box of letter from Dan to Stella from decades earlier. She reads about Stella and Dan’s ill-fated relationship through the series of letters and becomes determined to find Stella and re-unite the two lovers whilst there is still time.

Whilst the read is aware from the outset that the relationship between Stella and Dan did not continue beyond those war years, we can feel from the letters the deep and passionate love that they felt for each other, the pain they both endured at being parted and how eager Dan is to hear from her one last time before death takes him.

Letters to the Lost is a truly captivating tale. It is a beautifully written and evocative love story that tells of a love so deep and powerful that it spans a lifetime, despite decades spent apart. You cannot help but become absorbed in the story as you feel both their pain and their sorrow. This was a deeply moving tale that really captured my heart and my imagination from the very first page. It is a gorgeous tale of love, loss and true romance.

It is quite simply an incredible book, both uplifting and heart-breaking in equal measure. Letters to the Lost has undoubtedly made it’s way onto my list of favourite ever books.

Buy Links

Amazon UK:   Paperback –
                         Kindle –

Amazon US:    Paperback –
                         Kindle –

About the Author
Iona Grey has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in rural Cheshire with her husband and three daughters.

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