The Lost Letters by Sarah Mitchell ~ Publication Day 8-2-18 @bookouture @sarahM_writer

…that’s the trouble with trying to picture the past, you might want to reconstruct it, you might think you’re pretty close, but actually you never have the slightest idea what it was like to really live it.

What if keeping your loved ones safe meant never seeing them again?

Canada, present day

When Martha’s beloved father dies, he leaves her two things: a mysterious stash of letters to an English woman called ‘Catkins’ and directions to a beach hut in the English seaside town of Wells-Next-The-Sea. Martha is at a painful crossroads in her own life, and seizes this chance for a trip to England – to discover more about her family’s past, and the identity of her father’s secret correspondent.

Norfolk, 1940

Sylvia’s husband Howard has gone off to war, and she is struggling to raise her two children alone. Her only solace is her beach hut in Wells, and her friendship with Connie, a woman she meets on the beach. The two women form a bond that will last a lifetime, and Sylvia tells Connie something that no-one else knows: about a secret lover… and a child.

But the tragedy of war brings heartbreaking choices. And a promise made between the two women will echo down the years, and could change everything for Martha…

I was transported back to 1940… I was Sylvia, I was Connie…my heart ached for the pain that war inflicts upon mothers, fathers, children, soldiers.. people!!!

Fast forward to the present… I was Martha, I was Elizabeth, I was Janey! My heart ached for Martha and her quest to find the secrets of her father’s past and for the pain she felt as the mother of a child (Janey) that was distant and defensive. I loved how brave Martha was and how determined she became to get to the bottom of her family’s secrets!

Told in alternating perspectives and time periods made this story very difficult to put down! The connection between the characters over 60 years time was astonishing and so elegantly and convincingly done! When the secrets to her family’s past are revealed, the story unravels so clearly it’s almost like you are jumping through a time portal!

Cheers to Sarah Mitchell for writing this amazing Wartime fiction. She managed to weave together the past and the present taking the reader on a fabulously terrifying journey that gripped me from page 1! How far would you go to protect the ones you love?

After graduating from Cambridge University, Sarah Mitchell practised as a barrister in London for 20 years, working in the field of human rights and European Law. She was tempted to write fiction for a long while and finally signed up for an introductory creative writing course with the Open University. Two years later she took a sabbatical from the bar to do an MA in Creative Writing at the UEA and has never looked back. THE LOST LETTERS is her first novel, inspired by a walk on the beach at Wells-next-the-Sea to calm her nerves before starting the MA, and the decision her grandparents almost made to evacuate her mother to Canada at the start of the Second World War. Sarah now lives back in Norfolk – where she grew up – with her husband and three almost-grown-up children, and combines writing with some legal work.

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