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Letters to the Lost (Unabridged Audiobook)

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He promised to love her forever, but forever is running out... 1943: in the ruins of Blitzed London, Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski fall in love. Sixty years later Dan sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess. She is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright. Can He promised to love her forever, but forever is running out... 1943: in the ruins of Blitzed London, Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski fall in love. Sixty years later Dan sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess. She is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late?


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He promised to love her forever, but forever is running out... 1943: in the ruins of Blitzed London, Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski fall in love. Sixty years later Dan sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess. She is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright. Can He promised to love her forever, but forever is running out... 1943: in the ruins of Blitzed London, Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski fall in love. Sixty years later Dan sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess. She is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late?

30 review for Letters to the Lost (Unabridged Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Alex is The Romance Fox

    I would like to share with you a book that has left a profound impression on me. Yes, its pure fiction and one may think ….oh it’s only a story made up in a writer’s imagination. Yes, it is that….but it will be a story that will inspire you…make you believe that Love is Timeless regardless….It’s a book I want to share with my friends…..a story that is heartbreaking but uplifting too. A love story that transcends time. Yes, you might also think that you have read similar stories…but L I would like to share with you a book that has left a profound impression on me. Yes, its pure fiction and one may think ….oh it’s only a story made up in a writer’s imagination. Yes, it is that….but it will be a story that will inspire you…make you believe that Love is Timeless regardless….It’s a book I want to share with my friends…..a story that is heartbreaking but uplifting too. A love story that transcends time. Yes, you might also think that you have read similar stories…but Letters to the Lost is something special, something unforgettable, a story filled with characters that stay with you for a very long time. I was so lucky to find this book by Ione Grey….thanks to my good GR friend, Jessica Gadziala, who commented on the review I wrote on India Grey’s Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper (At His Service #1), where I mentioned that I loved this author’s books but hadn’t seen anything from her for ages…she told me that the author was now writing under the name of Ione Grey and…voila!!!! Thanks so much Jessica!!! I was immediately drawn to the book title…Letters to the Lost…evocative, powerful, and beautiful!!! This was a vibrant and enthralling read that grabbed me from the first page until the end. A story of love lost and found again. Heart-wrenching, compelling, tender, heart-breaking, heartening, inspiring that makes you smile through the tears that spill from your eyes. A brief synopsis: 1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London... Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five. ...He promised to love her forever Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan's words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late? Now forever is finally running out. The story begins in the present time, with Dan, trying to find the woman he has never forgotten since he met her almost 70 years ago…. He sends a letter to her to the last address he has of hers. The letter is discovered by Jess Moran, a homeless young woman living in secret in an abandoned house in London. This discovery will lead to Jess finding the letters Dan wrote to Stella, the woman he has never stopped loving, and take her on a journey that will grab your heart. The complex plot weaves between London during the Second World War and the present day and where we meet two couples, Dan & Stella and Jess & Will. Dan & Stella’s beautiful and powerful love story that lasts despite a lifetime spent apart…a story of loss, lies, betrayal and hope. I couldn’t put this book down….and by the end…reading the last page…I totally broke down…tears running down my cheeks…my son asking me why I was crying…..jeezzz….(view spoiler)[the last page was so poignant and beautiful…. (hide spoiler)] So, if you have been reading and reached this line so far…I just want to share, very quickly, a story about a family member that reminded me of this book… My husband’s uncle was an officer during the war and he was given the task to inform a woman that her husband had been shot down and disappeared in Italy. But the woman, Ina, could not accept that her husband had been killed. She got on a ship from Cape Town to London, a train to Italy – where he husband had been last seen….hired someone to drive her to all the towns and cities in the area where he was suppose to have been shot down…over a few months…but of course, she never found him. She sailed back to Johannesburg….the uncle, Nick, had in the meantime, never forgotten her and he reconnected with her when she returned. Their friendship grew during the next few years and Nick asked Ina to marry him. But she refused. However, she agreed to live with him…..because if her husband ever returned, she would go back to him….sadly, her husband never did, Nick and Ina never married, never had children. They had a good life together, but Ina always lived all those years and years in hope of her husband, which apparently she had loved beyond anything, to come back to her!!! Nick died before Ina…Ina continued waiting and hoping…finally dying when she was 93. I often wondered about the kind of love she had for her husband that kept her hopes alive all those years!!!! So, back to this book. Please, if you love a beautiful and poignant and haunting love story that will grab your heart…get this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Camie

    A very clever novel which time-slips between two romances in modern and WW2 era London. When Jess finds a box of old letters while hiding in an abandoned house to escape her abusive boyfriend , we are transported back in time to the heartrending love story of Stella and Dan a U.S. Bomber pilot flying missions over Europe. I usually think stories told through letters are tedious, but this book finds just the right mix. I'm not surprised that several of my Bookclub's have chosen this as their mont A very clever novel which time-slips between two romances in modern and WW2 era London. When Jess finds a box of old letters while hiding in an abandoned house to escape her abusive boyfriend , we are transported back in time to the heartrending love story of Stella and Dan a U.S. Bomber pilot flying missions over Europe. I usually think stories told through letters are tedious, but this book finds just the right mix. I'm not surprised that several of my Bookclub's have chosen this as their monthly read. I was sure this was a 5 star read until about 3/4 of the way through when things started to feel a bit rushed and perhaps a bit coincidental as the modern romance takes center stage. That said, I predict this book will be highly rated by most and I'm happy to say the final wrap up manages not to disappoint. 4.5 stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    Every so often, a book comes along that is so thoroughly perfect that you feel like you're going to burst if you can't tell everyone about it. Otherwise they might never read it - and that would be so dreadful. Letters To The Lost by Iona Grey is published by Simon & Schuster on 23 April in paperback and for kindle: it's a substantial read, 560 wonderful pages, but it could have been twice as long as I never wanted it to finish. We all read for different reasons, but one of the things I love is Every so often, a book comes along that is so thoroughly perfect that you feel like you're going to burst if you can't tell everyone about it. Otherwise they might never read it - and that would be so dreadful. Letters To The Lost by Iona Grey is published by Simon & Schuster on 23 April in paperback and for kindle: it's a substantial read, 560 wonderful pages, but it could have been twice as long as I never wanted it to finish. We all read for different reasons, but one of the things I love is the way you can live inside a book for as long as you're reading it, entirely leaving the real world behind - and when this book ended, I cried my eyes out because everything had been so perfect. For three thoroughly blissful days I was totally lost in the wartime love affair of Stella and Dan, aching for them with every obstacle and injustice they encounter, my heart in my mouth waiting for Ruby Shoes to return safely and for Dan to write his next letter. The author does a magnificent job of recreating wartime Britain, peopled with vividly drawn characters and with just enough well-researched detail to bring it all to life: I loved the detail around the preparations for the fete (and the arguments over scones and ginger cake), the preparing of food, the effect of rationing (and the value of tinned peaches), the impact of the blackout. But she also conveys the very different world Stella inhabited - the moral unassailability of the church, the expectations of women, the challenges of being "different". The book opens with Jess - a character you quickly get very attached to - running away from her present day problems, finding refuge in a deserted house, and stumbling across the wartime story of Stella and Dan after discovering a box of letters. The structure is really clever - as Jess reads the letters we read them with her, the gaps are filled by our visits to Stella's world, and the whole book moves totally seamlessly between the two worlds. With a thoroughly gripping and unashamedly romantic story line, the whole book is beautifully crafted. Sometimes with dual timeframe stories you find the shift from one to the other can be a wrench, or you prefer one storyline over the other - in this book there are no such problems, I was every bit as interested in how the story of Jess and Will played out as I was in Stella and Dan. It's quite amazing that this is a debut - Iona Grey is an incredibly accomplished story teller, and I'm looking forward greatly to seeing what she does next. This is a book you really mustn't miss - I loved it. My thanks to netgalley and the publishers for my advance reading e-copy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alice-Elizabeth

    T/W- Rape, Domestic Violence, Depression with descriptions of taking anti-depressants Letters To The Lost was a book that I won in a prize pack a few months ago on Twitter, being interested in stories involving the use of letters/written in letter form, I was keen to see how this novel would play out. Despite the trigger warnings listed above, I actually enjoyed this one and thought it was a good read. Set between the year 2011 and WW2, Jess has escaped from a toxic relationship and taken shelte T/W- Rape, Domestic Violence, Depression with descriptions of taking anti-depressants Letters To The Lost was a book that I won in a prize pack a few months ago on Twitter, being interested in stories involving the use of letters/written in letter form, I was keen to see how this novel would play out. Despite the trigger warnings listed above, I actually enjoyed this one and thought it was a good read. Set between the year 2011 and WW2, Jess has escaped from a toxic relationship and taken shelter in an old house that has been left abandoned. During her hiding away, she stumbles on a collection of letters including one recently sent by Dan, a pilot from America that fought in the war many years ago and wanting to connect again with his long-lost love Stella. Jess decides that to move on with her life, that she needs to track down this Stella. In the process, she meets Will, working for an heir hunting company and recently got the keys to the house that Jess has been hiding in. Together, they work to solve the mystery. The novel does flip back and forth between the 1940s and 2011, but the events of WW2 were utterly heartbreaking. It did warn on the cover that the story would break my heart, it certainly did that. The pacing did drag, hence why I decided not to give Letters To The Lost a full five stars. For a standalone novel, the plot twists kept me interested right until the very end. I also love anything to do with ancestry and tracing relatives/missing people, so that appealed to me throughout as Jess and Will were doing some research into past records. The triggers were also a little graphic and made me feel a little bit uncomfortable at times.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    My interest peaked somewhere in the middle and I had a hard time finishing this book. It was a little too Nicholas Sparks for me, not sure how I ended up with this on my reading list... I should probably put a note about that when I add a book. I know it was a different time, but Stella was hard to take. She was such a mousy person who could have spoken up once, at several different points during the story, and everything would have been fine. Right down to the central split in the book. She cre My interest peaked somewhere in the middle and I had a hard time finishing this book. It was a little too Nicholas Sparks for me, not sure how I ended up with this on my reading list... I should probably put a note about that when I add a book. I know it was a different time, but Stella was hard to take. She was such a mousy person who could have spoken up once, at several different points during the story, and everything would have been fine. Right down to the central split in the book. She created this situation and it was so unnecessary. Contrived plot crises are bad, but the thing about this book that really got me was the use of the lazy-writers crutch, the perfectly timed coincidence. When that happens in a book, it really almost kills it for me. It's so sloppy. The latter half of this book was just littered with them, one after another. Every time the writer needed to fix something, suddenly the person in the room would just happen to be the one person in all of England who knew where another individual was located. Too much.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Meredith

    Letters to the Lost is an enthralling novel—I was hooked from the first page. The narrative transitions back and forth from the story of Jess and Will in current times to Stella and Dan during WWII. Jess, taking shelter from her abusive boyfriend in abandoned house, comes across a letter written to Stella by 90 year old Dan. Jess, eventually with the help of Will, tries to piece together the relationship of Stella and Dan, and solve the mystery of what tore them apart. This is a beautiful novel Letters to the Lost is an enthralling novel—I was hooked from the first page. The narrative transitions back and forth from the story of Jess and Will in current times to Stella and Dan during WWII. Jess, taking shelter from her abusive boyfriend in abandoned house, comes across a letter written to Stella by 90 year old Dan. Jess, eventually with the help of Will, tries to piece together the relationship of Stella and Dan, and solve the mystery of what tore them apart. This is a beautiful novel filled with romance, history, and mystery. I highly recommend Letters to the Lost!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    I really enjoyed this one. I especially loved the love story between Stella and Dan as told through letters and lapses back in time. Jess finds letters in a shoe box inside what appears to be an abandoned home she broke into to hide out from an abusive boyfriend. We learn of the love story between Dan and Stella as Jess reads the letters. Although I really enjoyed the book, I could have done without the modern day love story as it felt rushed and happened really fast. Stella and Dan's love story I really enjoyed this one. I especially loved the love story between Stella and Dan as told through letters and lapses back in time. Jess finds letters in a shoe box inside what appears to be an abandoned home she broke into to hide out from an abusive boyfriend. We learn of the love story between Dan and Stella as Jess reads the letters. Although I really enjoyed the book, I could have done without the modern day love story as it felt rushed and happened really fast. Stella and Dan's love story was told much better IMO and I really felt for that couple.

  8. 5 out of 5

    вιвℓισρнιℓια {кιηgѕℓєу & ѕøяєη ƒσяєνєя}

    .... An incredibly intense, compelling and deeply moving tale, I love it when books are like this .... so unexpected, and in this case, less is definitely more. So, so much more, and it will take me a while to recover from it. What an experience, and exactly why I love reading as much as I do. Highly recommended, and I'll be anxiously looking out for more books from this author. .... An incredibly intense, compelling and deeply moving tale, I love it when books are like this .... so unexpected, and in this case, less is definitely more. So, so much more, and it will take me a while to recover from it. What an experience, and exactly why I love reading as much as I do. Highly recommended, and I'll be anxiously looking out for more books from this author.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Set in London in the present day and in the early 1940s. Jess is a young woman on the run, desperate and alone. When she stumbles on an abandoned home, she sees it as an opportunity for refuge and a chance to give thought to her future. When she discovers a packet of letters hidden in a drawer, she is drawn into the love story of Stella and a young American airman, Dan. When a letter arrives at the house from Dan making one last appeal to reconnect with Stella, Jess is determined to find her. Al Set in London in the present day and in the early 1940s. Jess is a young woman on the run, desperate and alone. When she stumbles on an abandoned home, she sees it as an opportunity for refuge and a chance to give thought to her future. When she discovers a packet of letters hidden in a drawer, she is drawn into the love story of Stella and a young American airman, Dan. When a letter arrives at the house from Dan making one last appeal to reconnect with Stella, Jess is determined to find her. Alternating between Jess's hardships and her determination to make a better life, and the sorrows that befall Stella in the choices she made, it is a lovely depiction of the strength of the human spirit. At the core of every person, it is the desire for love and acceptance that drives our decisions and actions. Loneliness and despair can bring such great sorrow into our lifes. But hope, and someone to live for are what drive Jess and Stella to persevere. The novel starts a little slow, but I was soon engrossed in this beautiful love story.

  10. 5 out of 5

    ~Jo~

    I'm not a huge fan of romance novels, but goddamn, this got me good. This story has kept me hooked, and when one sets the alarm at 5am, just to wake up an hour earlier in order to grab more reading time, I know I have a good thing going. This book is one of the first ones that I purchased on a wim, for the kindle. I suppose it got forgotten about with all of my other books I've been relentlessly purchasing. I'm SO glad I've finally got to it, as the story is just what the doctor ordered. It was p I'm not a huge fan of romance novels, but goddamn, this got me good. This story has kept me hooked, and when one sets the alarm at 5am, just to wake up an hour earlier in order to grab more reading time, I know I have a good thing going. This book is one of the first ones that I purchased on a wim, for the kindle. I suppose it got forgotten about with all of my other books I've been relentlessly purchasing. I'm SO glad I've finally got to it, as the story is just what the doctor ordered. It was pure romance, with some rather juicy twists, and the plot jumps from London during the second world war and the present day, where we follow the stories of two couples. These are Dan and Stella, and Jess and Will. I have to be honest, I didn't love Jess and Will as much as the other couple. They just didn't intrigue me as much, but it weaved the story together, and made the story what it is. I really wanted to live inside this book and help the wonderful characters get the answers that they were looking for. I'm pretty upset that I've finished it, actually. I was also quite amazed to discover that this was Grey's debut novel and I've since discovered that she has written another novel this year. I've already pre-ordered it. The pacing of the story did drag slightly in the middle, and the sex scenes were slightly cringeworthy, but I literally raced through it just to find out what my heart was desperate to know! Now, I just need to figure out what to do now I've finished it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    B the BookAddict

    It isn't my usual sort of book, being historical fiction that's really light on the history side. Just a warm story with romance at it's centre; I surprised myself by enjoying it. Yes, I can see why people read these all the time. It isn't my usual sort of book, being historical fiction that's really light on the history side. Just a warm story with romance at it's centre; I surprised myself by enjoying it. Yes, I can see why people read these all the time.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lyuda

    2.5 starsWith 4.25 average from 5,049 ratings, I’m obviously in a minority. The blurb as well as numerous reviewers did an excellent job in describing the plot, so I'm just going to write my opinion about the story. I admit, I struggled with how to rate the book. Beginning and up to probably 40% was a solid 4-stars with competent writing and intriguing plot that kept me glued to the pages. But this didn’t hold up. I don’t generally like dual time line stories because I don't think many authors hand 2.5 starsWith 4.25 average from 5,049 ratings, I’m obviously in a minority. The blurb as well as numerous reviewers did an excellent job in describing the plot, so I'm just going to write my opinion about the story. I admit, I struggled with how to rate the book. Beginning and up to probably 40% was a solid 4-stars with competent writing and intriguing plot that kept me glued to the pages. But this didn’t hold up. I don’t generally like dual time line stories because I don't think many authors handle it all that well. It’s rare when both time lines presented as equally competent, interesting, and engaging. Usually, one dominates the other and so the weaker one becomes just a nuisance, a place to skip to get to the “better” part. Unfortunately, the novel was not an exception to the rule. The present day story paled in comparison to the 1940th one. And the further the story went, the more emphasis was put on the present time line, the less interesting the narrative became. But it’s not only this. What started as intriguing story of hardship of the war, of moral choice dilemmas gradually turned into full-blown melodrama with contrived plotline. I feel like I stepped into the world of Nicholas Sparks. The promising heroine who could’ve been such an intriguing one, regressed into someone with no backbone, someone who made choices that left me scratching my head. There were too many coincidences, too much "deus ex machine" used to tie up loose ends and get the book to its eventual conclusion. Overall, good writing but too contrived and melodramatic for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Belinda

    I did read did book in dutch for het Hebban reading club. This book simply blew me away. I could not stop reading. The lives of Jess and Stella have so many common ground with each other and also with my own live. Many times this book made me crey. Stella marries the reverend after living for 17 years as an orphan. She does not know much about the world and nobody did tel here anything. She did not had to worry about it because Charles does not touch here. She is realy surprised when Charles tells I did read did book in dutch for het Hebban reading club. This book simply blew me away. I could not stop reading. The lives of Jess and Stella have so many common ground with each other and also with my own live. Many times this book made me crey. Stella marries the reverend after living for 17 years as an orphan. She does not know much about the world and nobody did tel here anything. She did not had to worry about it because Charles does not touch here. She is realy surprised when Charles tells her he is leaving for war. It is 1942 and England is in war with Germany. Stella has a friend Nancy who takes her to a dance where she meets up with her first American soldier. This is totaly not a good experience for her. When she goes back the next day to look for her watch she lost in de church she meets Dan. He is a totaly different men. He promise her that when he find the watch he will return it to her. And so starts a romance in war. A romance started en continued with love letters. Jess who lives in our time flees from a man who hits her. She finds a house totaly empty. She hides inside. The next morning a letter arrived with URGENT on it. Aldo she knows its not good to open the letter not sent to her, she does it anyway. She is touched by it. When later she finds a box of letters up stairs she is sweept away in the lives of Stella and Dan. Beautiful almost poetic sentences make this book a good book to read. It is her first book but I am surtanly very interested in the next.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Dale Harcombe

    2011 and a letter is written from Maine. It is a letter of desperation and love from an old man to the woman he promised to ’love forever.’ He sends the letter to the last known address he has for her. But the letter is not found by his old love but a young woman who holes up in the abandoned house. Jess is on the run from an abusive boyfriend. Homeless and without much money, the abandoned house is a source of refuge for her. Jess cannot help herself. She reads the letter and wishes she could f 2011 and a letter is written from Maine. It is a letter of desperation and love from an old man to the woman he promised to ’love forever.’ He sends the letter to the last known address he has for her. But the letter is not found by his old love but a young woman who holes up in the abandoned house. Jess is on the run from an abusive boyfriend. Homeless and without much money, the abandoned house is a source of refuge for her. Jess cannot help herself. She reads the letter and wishes she could find out more about the person it was intended for and the man who wrote it. So begins a story that goes between the two times lines, 2011 and the 1940s. In that earlier time American bomber pilot Dan Rosinski, met and fell in love with Stella Thorne in London. But Stella is already married to Charles. I suspect I may be in the minority in not liking this book more than I did. Somehow some of the characters never really came alive for me. That included Stella and her clergyman husband, Charles. As a result I never became emotionally involved in this story. It never swept me up into it. I have often been known to cry at books but this one left me without a tear. The writing is good and the historical info is fine but I found the reliance on co-incidences weakened the effect of the story. Even though it didn’t appeal overly to me I am sure there are going to be lots of people out there who will love this book. So, read it and make up your own mind. If you like love stories you may enjoy it. This is a debut novel so it will be interesting to see what this author does next.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Abby Green

    This truly is one of the most gorgeous, romantic and moving books you're likely to read in 2015. Evocative and beautifully written, Grey manages to take your heart out of your chest and squeeze it almost dry leaving just enough breath in your body to be blown away. I can't recommend it highly enough. This truly is one of the most gorgeous, romantic and moving books you're likely to read in 2015. Evocative and beautifully written, Grey manages to take your heart out of your chest and squeeze it almost dry leaving just enough breath in your body to be blown away. I can't recommend it highly enough.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    I savored this book! I loved the dual story line going from England in the 1940s to 2011. The characters and setting are so vivid to me. It was so easy to get drawn into the story of Stella & Dan during WWII, and I felt so bad that she was trapped in a loveless marriage to the Vicar, Charles. All the 5 star ratings and reviews you see here are well deserved! I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction. It will be at the top of my favorites for 2016.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Liz Fenwick

    A beautifully woven tale of love and loss that breaks your heart and rebuilds it. I couldn't put it down. It was big juicy read that reminded me of books that I loved in the past that wrapped you up, held you tight and didn't put you down until you were left devastated that the book had ended yet totally satisfied. A beautifully woven tale of love and loss that breaks your heart and rebuilds it. I couldn't put it down. It was big juicy read that reminded me of books that I loved in the past that wrapped you up, held you tight and didn't put you down until you were left devastated that the book had ended yet totally satisfied.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    Letters to the Lost is a dual storyline that focuses on two men and women- Stella and Dan in 1940's England & Jessica and Will in 2011 England. When Jessica takes refuge in an abandoned house in order to flee her abusive boyfriend, she stumbles upon a series of letters written by an American named, Dan. Dan, it appears, was a lieutenant in the Air Force who meets the wife of a vicar Stella Thorne, but somehow the two become separated during the course of the war and Dan has been trying to find Letters to the Lost is a dual storyline that focuses on two men and women- Stella and Dan in 1940's England & Jessica and Will in 2011 England. When Jessica takes refuge in an abandoned house in order to flee her abusive boyfriend, she stumbles upon a series of letters written by an American named, Dan. Dan, it appears, was a lieutenant in the Air Force who meets the wife of a vicar Stella Thorne, but somehow the two become separated during the course of the war and Dan has been trying to find her ever since. Jessica becomes really intrigued by these letters and makes a vow that she's going to help Dan find his lost love. However, things get a bit complicated when Will, a real estate agent, realizes that Jessica is living in the abandoned house, but Will becomes as interested in Stella and Dan's story as he becomes intrigued by Jessica. I think I have a case of the I have read way too many dual storylines that involve WWII syndrome. Seriously! Don't get me wrong Iona Grey presents a beautifully woven tale of two lovers torn apart by war and all that comes with it. That was actually the best part, but the modern one dragged for me and close to the end consumed the book. I am not sure if in a few weeks, I'll even remember this story,

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)

    4.5 Stars Step back into 1943, into a world during World War 2. Set against the backdrop of London, Letter’s to the Lost is a love story that transcends time, that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. He was an American bomber pilot, whose chance of survival was only one in five. She was newly married. They met by chance, and didn’t mean to fall in love, especially with everything stacked against them. This story was lovely, so beautiful, emotional and quiet a bit heart breaking. We follow two time 4.5 Stars Step back into 1943, into a world during World War 2. Set against the backdrop of London, Letter’s to the Lost is a love story that transcends time, that is both beautiful and heartbreaking. He was an American bomber pilot, whose chance of survival was only one in five. She was newly married. They met by chance, and didn’t mean to fall in love, especially with everything stacked against them. This story was lovely, so beautiful, emotional and quiet a bit heart breaking. We follow two time lines. In our main time line, we follow Stella, who is a young woman during World War 2 that comes from the poor school so all she really wants is a family and a roof over her head. She marries Charles the preacher and her marriage is off to a rough start right from the beginning. Stella does not seem to understand why Charles treats her more like a housekeeper instead of a wife, with no physical relationship between them, including during the wedding night. When her husband volunteers to be a Chaplin during the war, Stella is further confused why her new husband found volunteering and leaving her behind so easily. Plus his friend Peter seems to be a very big influence in Charles’ life. She meets Dan, an American bomber pilot during his brief break while searching for her bracelet, that she happened to lose during an unfortunate encounter. The attraction is instant, but it takes a bit for them together. It started with a bracelet, which led to letters, to a sort of friendship that morphed into a beautiful but heartbreaking relationship. I was glued to the pages wanting to know what happened between them and the fate that awaited them in the end. I do love how the author explored the relationships during this time period, as well as some stereotypes. Stella is pretty shy, quiet, kind of meek. She just wants a family and a home life as oppose to other women during this time that took on much larger roles and filled the shoes of men when they went off to war. So in that respect, that take on her character growth and how she progressed on events that surrounded her was really interesting. The second couple we follow is Jess and Will. Jess escapes from an abusive relationship and stumbles into an old abandoned house running away from her boyfriend with nothing but 50 pounds in her pocket. While squatting in the old house that seems to be trapped in time, she finds a letter delivered by the postman entitled, Urgant, please forward if possible. Unable to help herself, Jess opens the letter and finds herself invested in its author and finding what happened between Stella and Dan. Through her, we get to see Dan’s side of the letters, as she reads them. With the help of Will, a man who she meets while he is trying to find the owner of the house – together the two investigate Dan and Stella’s story while slowly growing attracted to one another. I have to say, I adored this book so much. The writing was so wonderful, Stella and Dan were both wonderful. I don’t usually like books with affairs, but once you get the whole picture between Charles and Stella and everything that happens, the pieces fall together and it makes Stella’s and Dan’s story all that much more heartbreaking – especially during this time when Stella felt she had very little rights. I found Jess’ and Will’s story good enough. They weren’t the main focus of the book and I felt if it wasn’t for the way the book was structured, I would have been fine with Stella’s and Dan’s story alone, seeing as how that was the main focus and my favorite part. The characters were much more fleshed out and I found myself emotionally attached to the two of them. Also, I found parts with Jess and Will a bit slow moving. I don’t know if I can say that this story has a completely happy ending, but I did like the way things wrapped up, despite a few tears shed at the end of the heartbreak and pain the two had suffered and the unfairness in all of it. I highly recommend this book to all Historical Fiction readers who love a good story set in two different times and enjoy a timeless romance. 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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    This lovely story summarises everything I love about historical fiction. There is something quite mesmerising about romance during the war; that amongst the violence, the death and the poverty that love can still find a way to flourish. Transcending two generations, the reader is introduced to Jess, an aspiring singer fleeing from her violent and controlling boyfriend. With nowhere else to go, she finds refuge in an abandoned house and discovers a box of love letters. With the help of heir hunter This lovely story summarises everything I love about historical fiction. There is something quite mesmerising about romance during the war; that amongst the violence, the death and the poverty that love can still find a way to flourish. Transcending two generations, the reader is introduced to Jess, an aspiring singer fleeing from her violent and controlling boyfriend. With nowhere else to go, she finds refuge in an abandoned house and discovers a box of love letters. With the help of heir hunter Will, they set to find out the the story of the two sweethearts and fill in the gaps the letters had left. At times shocking and sad, although uplifting at the same time, I thought the author did well to write such a complex novel. There are multiple threads to her storyline but her ability as a writer make it easy to decipher. The only aspect that holds me from awarding this a full five stars is that I was able to predict some of the story and the actions of its lead characters. Nonetheless, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and wouldn't hasten to recommended it to fans of historical romantic fiction.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Readaholic Jenn

    An unexpected but heart-warming story of love and survival during World War 2.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Tara Chevrestt

    When I first came across this blurb and title, I was somewhat afraid to read it. I was afraid it'd mostly be written through the hero and heroine's letters, with little to no dialogue. I'm pleased to say that wasn't the case. There's plenty of dialogue, character interaction, and also a modern-day story following another couple who, each in their own ways, manage to tell us what happened so long ago to split Stella and Dan. There are letters, from Dan to Stella, as the modern heroine finds them, b When I first came across this blurb and title, I was somewhat afraid to read it. I was afraid it'd mostly be written through the hero and heroine's letters, with little to no dialogue. I'm pleased to say that wasn't the case. There's plenty of dialogue, character interaction, and also a modern-day story following another couple who, each in their own ways, manage to tell us what happened so long ago to split Stella and Dan. There are letters, from Dan to Stella, as the modern heroine finds them, but they don't take pages and pages of the book. Instead, the novel goes back and forth between 2011 and 1943. It's not jarring, but a smooth transition. The writing is excellent. I was surprised to look her up on Goodreads and find no other titles to her name. I got the impression while reading that she is a very skilled, professional author. I confess to growing bored at times though. If I can read just a few sentences on each page and not miss a beat for a few pages, I'd say it's a bit overwordy. It began to feel like a 600-some page book. However, this could be because I've read so many WWII stories by now that nothing was new to me, at all. Not Dan's aviation tales, not the rationing issues... Absolutely nothing was new or remarkable with the WWII story. But what I really disliked in the end were the heroines. The modern one, I just never got invested in that story, not like I did the historical one. I didn't grow to care for that couple like I did Dan and Stella. DS came alive for me. And having became intrigued/wrapped up in Stella, she and her choices disappointed me most of all. I'd hoped she'd have developed a bit of backbone in the course of the tale. I wanted to slap what was left of her wits right out of her when I realized she'd stayed in an abusive relationship for all those years, denying herself happiness, because she "didn't deserve it". Full review, favorite quote: http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2015/...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey is the most magnificent and heart-wrenching love story I have EVER read!!! There’s no doubt that this novel will be added to my top 10 list of 2017. It is impossible to not cry your heart out on completion of this book. Letters to the Lost is a truly captivating story. It blew me away from the first page and along the way it tore out my heart. Stella and Dan’s story is an unforgettable tale of a love so profound and powerful that it spreads over a lifetime regardl Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey is the most magnificent and heart-wrenching love story I have EVER read!!! There’s no doubt that this novel will be added to my top 10 list of 2017. It is impossible to not cry your heart out on completion of this book. Letters to the Lost is a truly captivating story. It blew me away from the first page and along the way it tore out my heart. Stella and Dan’s story is an unforgettable tale of a love so profound and powerful that it spreads over a lifetime regardless of decades spent apart. Narratives with a dual time frame have always been a favourite of mine, they are without fail positively fascinating, no matter what novel I have read I have always found both timelines equally exciting and compelling and this one is no exception. Letters to the Lost is set in London during World War II and the present day (2011). Jess our present day character escapes her abusive boyfriend and comes across an abandoned house and a mysterious letter. Jess unearths other letters which leads to an intriguing war time tale, determined to solve the love story Jess finds her own true love. Jess and Will’s story, perhaps not as compelling as Dan and Stella’s is sweet and charming nonetheless and an integral part of the novel as they try and locate the woman in Dan’s beautiful letters. It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel as it is exceptionally well written and I’ll be more than looking forward to reading Iona Grey’s next novel. Highly, highly recommended

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alayne Emmett

    This was such a lovely book, from the first page right through to the last it just kept on giving and now I’ve finished it I feel lost. It was a dual time line story and at times it was sad as it dealt with relationships during and after the Second World War and although it had a happy ending it left me feeling sad. This was a. We author for me and I hope to read others of hers in the near future.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Letters to the Lost is a book that can be described in terms that are often overused and often felt to be clichéd, please forgive me when I tell you that this novel really is a book that you will struggle to put down, a book that is a complete and utter pager-turner and a book that the reader will lose themselves in completely. It is a story that spans sixty years, and is over 500 pages long, but the pages fly by so quickly as the story captivates the reader, you will become totally engrossed. Le Letters to the Lost is a book that can be described in terms that are often overused and often felt to be clichéd, please forgive me when I tell you that this novel really is a book that you will struggle to put down, a book that is a complete and utter pager-turner and a book that the reader will lose themselves in completely. It is a story that spans sixty years, and is over 500 pages long, but the pages fly by so quickly as the story captivates the reader, you will become totally engrossed. Letters to the Lost is a love story, it is romantic to the core, but it is also a story of struggle, of pain, of lost opportunities and of heartbreak. Iona Grey is a truly gifted writer, her ability to create this story as her debut is incredible. Her characters are startlingly realistic, and her sense of place and era is spot on - transporting the reader to England during World War II, and then whisking them back to the same London back streets, but in the modern day. The story is told as a dual time narrative. The reader meets Jess first, she's on the run from an abusive relationship, with little money and only the clothes that she stands up in. Jess has no family to turn to. She takes refuge in an almost derelict cottage, part of a mews terrace, hidden from the busy streets of London. It is in this empty and neglected house that Jess discovers the story of Stella and Dan; war-time lovers whose story does not have a happy ending. A letter arrives from Dan, now ninety-years-old and in ill-health. Dan has thought about his lost love for the past sixty years and wants nothing more than to track her down before his time comes. When Jess discovers an old shoe box filled with the letters that Dan wrote during the war, she becomes determined that she must help him to find Stella. Iona Grey slips back and forth from Jess's modern story to the wartime romance of Dan and Stella with ease. There are parallels between Stella and Jess; their poor background, their lack of family and their history of abusive relationships tie them together. Jess also recognises a kindred spirit of sorts in Will - a college drop-out, a disappointment to his wealthy family, but a kind and considerate man, and between them they set out to discover just what happened to Stella at the end of the war. There are many issues dealt with within Letters to the Lost. The difficulties of life during the war time years, the difference between the US soldiers and the British men, the inequalities that women faced, the prejudices directed towards some people and the stigma attached to invisible illness that were not understood. Iona Grey handles each of these with grace and elegance, her story telling skills are very impressive, she has written a novel that is quite stunning and very memorable. Fans of Lucinda Riley will adore this book, Letters to the Lost is a sweeping, majestic story, I highly recommend this one.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    3.5 Thank you, Edelweiss, for providing this book from Thomas Dunne Books for review! A young woman on the run from an abusive boyfriend and a terrible situation breaks into a small English home and comes across a shoebox full of WWII letters. The letters are written by the same man who recently sent a desperate plea to a Mrs. Thorne to get back in touch with him -- a letter dropped through the slot that Jess opens out of curiosity. The letters transport Jess back in time, to London 1942, to US ai 3.5 Thank you, Edelweiss, for providing this book from Thomas Dunne Books for review! A young woman on the run from an abusive boyfriend and a terrible situation breaks into a small English home and comes across a shoebox full of WWII letters. The letters are written by the same man who recently sent a desperate plea to a Mrs. Thorne to get back in touch with him -- a letter dropped through the slot that Jess opens out of curiosity. The letters transport Jess back in time, to London 1942, to US airman Dan and sheltered vicar's wife Stella. They stumble across one another in a bombed-out church, searching for Stella's bracelet. As time progresses, their friendship-through-letters turns into something much more, and Stella struggles to find a way out of her destructive sham of a marriage. At first this book had a lot going for it -- nearing five stars for this WWII fanatic -- and for a while I was convinced that, as a Kate Morton fan, I would adore this. Dual timelines are hard, historical fiction is hard, and getting the reader to fall in love with the parallel stories is even harder. And that's where my love for it dwindled away: I didn't care one bit about Jess. Her story -- on the run from a bad situation and seeking solace in a quiet place before getting back on her feet -- was compelling at the beginning, but then she latched on too quickly to the next man to come into her life (Will, and he's another (boring) story) and became dependent on a male once more. I didn't believe it, I didn't enjoy it, and I felt her story could have been so much stronger if it went in a different direction. But Dan? Dan and Stella totally made up for it. Stella was a poor orphan who, once she was of age, became the housekeeper at Charles Thorne's vicarage. She didn't know what love was, so when Charles proposed -- and this meant having her own home and building a family, things she didn't have growing up -- Stella's overjoyed. She quickly learns there's something off about their marriage, and begins to wonder if it's her fault. (Oh no, honey, it's definitely not you!) Enter Dan: charming in a quiet and chivalrous way, not at all cheeky or boisterous like the other Americans roaming London. He helps her find jewelry she'd lost, and they decide to have lunch together. Lunch turns into an exchange of letters, which turns into "when are you on leave next?" and "let's go on a weekend trip together" and "how can we get you out of this marriage and start over?" I know that sounds predictable for a WWII romance, especially when the characters not only have a war to deal with but also an entire body of water if the war ever ends and they're both still alive. But it's really not that predictable. I had no idea if their plans would work, I didn't know why Dan was reaching out to her in modern day (did things not work out, and why?). They're full of love and fire and logic that everything seems possible and yet hopeless. The modern time portion of the narrative gives us a trail of clues to follow, and that was enjoyable up to a point (cue Jess and Will rants). Lindsey @ Bring My Books and I had a long conversation about this. We love Dan just like we love Jamie and Red, and we really felt something for Stella. Their story was beautiful and heartbreaking and we wanted more. We also wanted to shove Jess in a broom closet till she examined her life and looked at her choices, and we wanted to kill off Will (not even going to bother more comments on him) so that no reader would ever need to read his passages. If you want to know the definition of "weak," I'd point you to this storyline. That being said, I'm definitely going to watch out for Iona Grey's next books. Stella and Dan won me over, and if Grey's publications follow that line I'm on board!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    I can honestly say I've loved this book! This is a powerful love story and one that I think will stay with me. I found myself thinking about Stella and Dan (and Jess and Will) when I wasn't reading, wondering what might happen to them next. I found myself eager to get home and read another chapter or two. I could almost feel Stella's and Dan's pain when they were unable to be together and I was desperate for them to have a happy ending. Obviously I don't condone adultery, but you can't help who I can honestly say I've loved this book! This is a powerful love story and one that I think will stay with me. I found myself thinking about Stella and Dan (and Jess and Will) when I wasn't reading, wondering what might happen to them next. I found myself eager to get home and read another chapter or two. I could almost feel Stella's and Dan's pain when they were unable to be together and I was desperate for them to have a happy ending. Obviously I don't condone adultery, but you can't help who you fall for and no-one deserves to live in an unhappy, abusive marriage. It is also sad that Charles felt unable to be who he really was, but then life was very different in the 40's. It certainly highlights how different life is in today's, generally, more accepting society. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Stella and Dan in the 40's along with getting to know Jess and Will as they learn all about Stella and Dan, through their letters, in 2011 and discover each other in the process. The relationship that develops between Jess and Dan, as they try to find Stella, is also very special. This story is a rollercoaster of emotions. With loveable and some not so lovable characters. It made me smile a lot. It also made me cry and it's been a long time since a book did that! *Thanks to the Publisher for my advance kindle copy of this via Netgalley*

  28. 5 out of 5

    Book-shelf Shelf

    A story that spans years, from WW2 to present day. Stella and Dan's love story is not as easy one by far, but it is one which will keep you gripped to the end page. BY contrast Jess and Will have an easier time, joined by the letters from Dan and their desire to help reunite him with the love of his life. But no one knows of Stella and if she is even alive. I'm not one for a sloppy love story and this is defiantly not that, but at the same time this is a love story that is more realistic than an A story that spans years, from WW2 to present day. Stella and Dan's love story is not as easy one by far, but it is one which will keep you gripped to the end page. BY contrast Jess and Will have an easier time, joined by the letters from Dan and their desire to help reunite him with the love of his life. But no one knows of Stella and if she is even alive. I'm not one for a sloppy love story and this is defiantly not that, but at the same time this is a love story that is more realistic than any i have ever read.This could be anyone's grandparents and I think that's what puts it ahead of any other war type books I have read. There is just enough detail in of the war, but so much feeling in that detail that you feel as Dan would of. It is beautifully written, easily swapping time but never confusing the reader. The Characters are lovable from the start and as with life, you don't always find out what happens to every single character. Simply put, this is a fantasticly stunning debut book and I certainly will be keeping Iona in my friends list so i know when her next book is out!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 rounded up! This book was so well written and jumped back and forth between the love story of Stella and Dan in 1943, to the story of Jess and Will in 2011. I loved the dual timeline and was completely emotionally invested in both stories and the characters within them. I didn’t want to put this book down.

  30. 5 out of 5

    The Bursting Bookshelf of a Wallflower

    5 stars for this beautiful story! I have to admit that I was afraid to pick this one up - I have been reading the blurb in bookstores and libraries and I have been amazed by the tons of good reviews the book got by other writers and by the readers. Unfortunately, I read a few books that have been equally well recieved and I turned out to be quite disappointed. Luckily, this hasn't been the case here! I immediately fell in love with Dan and Stella on the one hand and with Jess and Will on the oth 5 stars for this beautiful story! I have to admit that I was afraid to pick this one up - I have been reading the blurb in bookstores and libraries and I have been amazed by the tons of good reviews the book got by other writers and by the readers. Unfortunately, I read a few books that have been equally well recieved and I turned out to be quite disappointed. Luckily, this hasn't been the case here! I immediately fell in love with Dan and Stella on the one hand and with Jess and Will on the other end. I enjoyed both storylines and the way they have been connected. It was well balanced and I felt close to all the characters. The story itself has been beautiful, heartbreaking and still full of hope. I suffered with all of the characters and I wanted them to be happy. I can only recommend this book with all of heart - it has been an amazing read and I will be keeping my eyes open for more books by Iona Grey.

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