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August 6, 2017

A Beautiful Novel : The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor

Review by Susan Roberts

"The edelweiss is an expression of love, you know. Proof of unusual daring, my father used to say. That’s how you proved you loved a girl. You ventured to the most dangerous mountain-tops to find an edelweiss."  (From The Lost Letter)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Lost Letter
June 2017; Riverhead Books; 978-0399185670
ebook, audio, print (336 pages); historical fiction
I love reading books about WWII and this is one of the best that I've read. The characters and story are so well done that I read long into the night to finish it because I was so intrigued with the story.

The novel has dual time lines - 1938-9 in Austria telling Kristoff's story and 1989 in LA telling Katie's story. Both stories are very interesting on their own and when they merge into one it creates a fantastic story line.

Katie takes her Dad's stamp collection to be appraised because her dad is in a memory care unit with early dementia. The appraiser finds an unopened letter with a stamp that he has never seen and he and Katie try to solve the mystery together.

The other story line involves Kristoff, an apprentice stamp engraver working with the Farber family in Austria. As he is working and living with the family, the Nazis are approaching and finally arrive in the town they live in. Since the Farber's are Jewish, their lives are in grave danger.

This is a beautiful novel about love and family and how the love and loss during war time can have repercussions that last for generations. It's a wonderful novel and I highly recommend it.

Thanks to the author and the Great Thought's Ninja Review Team for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

Buy The Lost Letter at Amazon

About the Book:

Austria, 1938.
Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher's fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. As he falls for Elena amidst the brutal chaos of war, Kristoff must find a way to save her, and himself.

Los Angeles, 1989.
Katie Nelson is going through a divorce and while cleaning out her house and life in the aftermath, she comes across the stamp collection of her father, who recently went into a nursing home. When an appraiser, Benjamin, discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter as he goes through her dad's collection, Katie and Benjamin are sent on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just fallen Berlin Wall.

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling.  She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends.  She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her Facebook.

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  1. This sounds so lovely. I'll have to check it out. Great review!