The Letter – Goodreads Book Review Week 7

The Letter

 

The Letter isn’t my usual choice of reading material but I couldn’t resist when I read the blurb. Working in a charity shop myself, the idea of finding something like this, written 30 years earlier really intrigued me.

It tells of two relationships, Tina and Rick in the 70s and Chrissie and Billy in the 30s.

1970s

Tina volunteers in a charity shop on a Saturday and finds the letter in the pocket of a suit that has been donated. It was written by Billy in 1939 for Chrissie but for some reason, it was never sent.

Tina opens it and finds herself wanting to unravel the mystery of Chrissie and Billy.

1939

Chrissie and Billy fall in love just before the start of the war. Chrissie gets pregnant and ends up getting sent to Ireland to stay with an aunt.
Her aunt dies and Chrissie has to go and stay at a convent to have her baby.

Her home life isn’t good. Rick’s an alcoholic and Tina puts up with and makes excuses for him when he gets drunk and beats her up.
She does leave for a while but in the end, she goes back to him.

It was hard to read in places due to the domestic abuse and the way Chrissie is treated at the convent but it kept me reading.

The Letter by Kathryn Hughes

Here’s the blurb from Goodreads

Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home. Whilst going through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter, the envelope firmly sealed and unfranked. Tina opens the letter and reads it – a decision that will alter the course of her life for ever…

Billy Stirling knows he has been a fool, but hopes he can put things right. On 4th September 1939 he sits down to write the letter he hopes will change his future. It does – in more ways than he can ever imagine…

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