The Lost Letters by Sarah Mitchell {Review}

More vacation reading fun, although this one was finished at home.

I have a penchant for historical fiction and epistolary novels, so when I read about The Lost Letters by Sarah Mitchell on NetGalley, I had to request it for one of my summer reads.

Past and present intertwine in The Lost Letters from Sarah Mitchell, featuring dual storylines during the present day and WW2 era England.

Martha, a middle aged woman from Canada has recently lost her father. He has left her letters to a mysterious person named Catkins, a beach hut in England, and little else to follow. With her own child away at college and time available, she travels to England to search for family history.

In 1940s England, Sylvia's husband has gone off to war with Germany, leaving her to raise their two children in England. A chance meeting with Connie leads to a lifelong friendship and secrets to be protected in the shadow of war, which eventually come to affect present-day Martha

The Lost Letters, in the very description on NetGalley, is touted as [p]erfect for fans of [...] The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Based on that, I had a very specific vision of what the book was going to be. Sadly, The Lost Letters is not an epistolary novel, despite the title idea or the purported premise. If you're picking it up based on that Guernsey-esque read, be prepared. It's not what you are likely expecting.

That said, once I put aside the epistolary idea, The Lost Letters is a very well-written story. The chapters alternate between Sylvie and Connie in the 1940s and Martha in the present day. As one can expect, the dual storylines do intertwine, but not in a way that is easily apparent to the reader. Mitchell brings the story together in a satisfying conclusion that the reader should enjoy as well.

The promotional blurb really does not do this book justice. The comparisons set the book up to be one thing, yet the reader is presented with something quite different. The Lost Letters is a strong story on its own and deserves a much better pitch highlighting that. For me, the expectations were a hurdle to overcome when trying to enjoy the book on its own merits. The story is one worth checking out and I hope other readers won't miss it based on those references.

Dislosure: I received an advanced copy of The Lost Letters from NetGalley for review purposes. I was not obligated to post on my blog, all opinions are my own.