Letters From The Past by Erica James
A sweet and compelling story of family, love and betrayal, set in a quintessential Suffolk village, from Sunday Times bestselling author Erica James.
It’s the autumn of 1962 in the idyllic Suffolk village of Melstead St Mary. Evelyn Devereux’s husband Kit is planning their 20th wedding anniversary party. But as they prepare to celebrate, Evelyn receives an anonymous letter that threatens to unravel the secrets she’s kept hidden for many years – secrets that reach back to the war and her days at Bletchley Park.
Evelyn’s sister-in-law, Hope, has brought joy to countless children with her bestselling books, but despite having a loving husband and caring family, happiness has never come easily to her. Then in an instant her fragile world is turned upside down when she too receives an anonymous letter.
Across the village, up at Melstead Hall, Julia Devereux has married into a life beyond anything she could have dreamt of, not realising until it’s too late that it comes with a heavy price.
Meanwhile, in the sun-baked desert of Palm Springs, Romily Devereux-Temple, crime-writer and former ATA pilot, is homesick for her beloved Island House, where she’s saved the day more times than she can count. On her return home, and shocked to learn what has been going on in her absence, she finds herself reluctantly confronting a secret she’s kept hidden for a very long time. Once again Romily is challenged to save the day and hold the family together. Can she do it, and maybe seize some happiness for herself at the same time?
My Thoughts on Letters From The Past
Erica James is one of my favourite authors, she always guarantees a captivating read with multi-dimensional characters and Letters From The Past certainly didn’t disappoint.
I was initially unaware that this was a sequel and I haven’t had the chance to read the first book. However, I soon got to know the large cast of characters and how they were all connected to the Devereux family.
This story is set in a small Suffolk village and features a family headed by matriarch Romily Devereux-Temple, a successful crime writer. She returns from Palm Springs to find that women close to her have been receiving poisonous pen letters. These anonymous letters threaten to expose secrets and make the recipients shed doubt upon the strength of their relationships. Romily’s compassionate nature and finely tuned detective skills are put to the test as she tries to find the malicious sender.
There is incredible warmth and individuality to the characters and a story that just takes hold of you and never lets go. This gentle, charming read is set mainly in the 1960s but also has flashbacks to two decades previously when WWII was taking place. The story exposes family secrets, forbidden love, and domestic abuse but also features beautiful romantic encounters and deeply emotional tragedies.
Erica James excels at likeable characters but she also develops extremely flawed characters equally as well. I enjoyed the mystery element from the anonymous poison pen writer, how the characters evolved over time and witnessing how romantic relationships and family loyalties progressed.
This is story-telling at it’s best!
Thank you to Anne Cater from Random Things Tours and Orion Publishing Group for a copy of the book, which I have reviewed honestly.
About The Author
Erica James is the number one international bestselling author of twenty-two novels, including the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers Summer at the Lake, The Dandelion Years and Song of the Skylark. She has sold over five million books worldwide and her work has been translated into thirteen languages.
Erica won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for her novel Gardens of Delight, set in beautiful Lake Como, Italy, which has become a second home to her. Her authentic characters are thanks to her fondness for striking up conversations with complete strangers.