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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
5 Stars
26 reviews have 5 stars
4 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • Exemplary!

    😊 A glorious read from one of my favourite authors, Erica James. Although this novel was a slight departure from her more usual romance genre, her stories are always very substantial reads and Letters From the Past was no exception. Letters From the Past is the bestselling author's latest novel, an immersive, sophisticated and appealing story. The novel features Evelyn Devereux and her husband Kit, living in the idyllic Suffolk village of Melstead St Mary. Kit is planning their 20th wedding anniversary party. It is 1962, but as they prepare to celebrate, Evelyn receives an anonymous letter that threatens to unravel the secrets she's kept hidden for many years... This book is the continuation of the story of Romily Temple and the Devereux family which began in Coming Home to Island House. I haven't read the first book yet, but this one, Letters From the Past, stands alone and the author adeptly provides the necessary back story. Each chapter is narrated from a different character’s point of view. The Devereux clan is large and complicated, so it takes some time to establish the who's who, their respective relationships, links and secrets, but once I had the story zipped along. The storyline jumps from the present (1962) to 1942 as each woman or family member looks back at their life and how they arrived at their current juncture. The wide variety of eclectic, cross-generational characters added enrichment and interest to the story. I certainly got to fully appreciate the author's impressive characterisation talents. Some you will love, others you may even loathe, a few are flawed or vulnerable or might surprise you. One of my favourites was Romily, a central player in the novel who was spirited, adventurous and warmhearted. Island House, in the fictional village of Melstead St Mary was the focal point for the Devereux family and Romily brought them all together while seeking some happiness of her own. The idyllic country setting was so beautifully and vividly depicted by Erica James that I felt I could have been present. The stylish, evenly paced plotline and the clarity of the writing made it easy to follow and my desire to see it through didn't waver. This is a story about exposed secrets motherhood, tragedy, forbidden love, second chances and domestic abuse, but also many more topics. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery element from the anonymous poison pen writer, too Letters From the Past was such a good novel, I didn't want to put it down and I have been inspired to read Coming Home to Island House. A gentle, charming, very highly recommended novel that is well worth five stars. My thanks must go to Erica James for writing such an impressive and joyous book! 😊 I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel at my request from Orion Publishing Group via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.

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  • Gripping

    At first it took me a while to learn who all the characters and their own stories were, but I was totally gripped by this exciting, painful yet heartwarming tale of the intracacies of life.

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    1 person found this review helpful

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  • Slow start

    This was a slow starter for me but I enjoyed it from about a third in - then it came to an abrupt end - which I was sorry about as I wanted more. Not her best book in my opinion but a decent read.

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  • Letterd From the Past

    An enjoyable story of complicated family relationships told over two time frames.

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  • Excellent Read from the well known Author

    I enjoyed the suspense as to who wrote the poison pen letters, and the lives of the people involved in the story ... a slow start but once the story evolved it was enjoyed by me right to the end!

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