Thursday, March 12, 2020

Review: The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn

Title: The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant
Author: Kayte Nunn
Published: March 2020, William Morrow Paperbacks
Format: ARC Paperback, 400 pages
Source: Publisher via TLC Booktours

A cache of unsent love letters from the 1950s is found in a suitcase on a remote island in this mysterious love story in the tradition of the novels by Kate Morton and Elizabeth Gilbert .

1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther’s prison but soon surprisingly becomes her refuge.

2018. Free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker embarks on a research posting in the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast. When a violent storm forces her to take shelter on a far-flung island, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel determines to track down the intended recipient. But she has no idea of the far-reaching consequences her decision will bring.

Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother, a renowned mountaineer, write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years.

With an arresting dual narrative that immediately captivates the reader, The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant is an inspirational story of the sacrifices made for love.

My thoughts:  This is the first book I've read by Kayte Nunn, but it definitely will not be the last. It is such a beautifully written book that captivated me from start to finish.

This story is told in dual timelines and woven together through letters that are found in the present and used as a way to bridge together the past and present. I love the way the author did this. While we don't really get to see the letters, I found that the idea of them was such an effective way to connect the two timelines. I liked that this brought to the book a hint of mystery as Rachel worked to track down the owner of the letters and then helps uncover a cache of secrets within the letters.

What I also loved about this book is that all three women we meet in this book - Rachel, Esther, and Eve - all had this remarkable strength of character that carries them through some trying times. This is shown time and again and really is at the heart of this story. 

Sometimes the relationships we hold dear are those that are forced upon us rather than the ones that we seek out. This book is one that inspires hope and is completely relatable in so many ways. It speaks to you and really grabs you. I absolutely will be reading more from this talented author and cannot recommend this book enough!


1 comment

  1. Oh this sounds wonderful and I'm so intrigued after reading your thoughts and the blurb. Definitely adding this to my TBR!


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