Published by William Morrow Paperbacks on March 3, 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction
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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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.
In 1951, a young mother by the name of Esther Durrant is committed to a mental hospital on an island by her husband, after suffering a tragic loss of her baby.
In 2018, a young, free-spirited marine scientist by the name of Rachel Parker get stranded on an island, after a violent storm that leaves her hurt and without a boat. There, Rachel gets a hold of old hidden love letters that leaves her determined to find the intended recipient of the letters, not realizing the consequences they might bring.
I thought the story was lovely, despite a bit slow-moving. I enjoyed following Rachel’s story and her time on the island, as well as the endearing cast of characters that she encounters during her time there.
I did feel a bit of a disconnect between Rachel and the love interest. Maybe from the lack of development. It all felt a bit rushed, and although I did buy Rachel’s eventual infatuation with the doctor that was helping, I still felt like the story seemed to lack something in context. I did enjoy reading about the time period and couldn’t help but feel a variety of emotions during the story, including anger for what Esther’s husband did to her and sadness over some of the other character outcomes.
The writing and the story weaving was quite lovely and I’m looking forward to more from this author.
This book deals with PTSD, Mental Illness, loss, suicide, self-harm and prejudice.