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The Book of Last Letters by Kerry Barrett

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Inspired by an incredible true story, a young nurse captures the final letters of injured soldiers – and must make a heart-breaking choice…

London, 1940

When nurse Elsie offers to send a reassuring letter to the family of a patient, she has an idea. She begins a book of last letters: messages to be sent on to wounded soldiers’ loved ones should the very worst come to pass, so that no one is left without a final goodbye.

But one message will change Elsie’s life forever. When a patient makes a devastating request, can Elsie find the strength to do the unthinkable?

London, present day

Stephanie has a lot of people she’d like to speak to: her estranged brother, to whom her last words were in anger; her nan, whose dementia means she is only occasionally lucid enough to talk.

When she discovers a book of wartime letters, Stephanie realises the importance of our final words – and uncovers the story of a secret love, a desperate choice, and the unimaginable courage of the woman behind it all…

A moving and compelling historical novel from the author of The Girl in the Picture, perfect for fans of The Nightingale and The Keeper of Happy Endings.

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5 out of 5 (exceptional)

THE BOOK OF LAST LETTERS is the first book by this author I have read, and it won't be the last!

Based on a true story, you get dual-timelines of Elsie in 1940/1 and Stephanie in the present time. Both sides of the story get me gripped! Fantastic characters also appeared in both sides although one I disliked (as I was supposed to). In the past, the Golds were a great pair and I would love to know more of them. Nelly, ah, Nelly. You made my eyes leak! But so many of them deserve a mention because they were written so well. In the present time, you have Stevie's friends - Micah, I'm looking at you - but also those she cares for in the home. Oh my but I loved them! Spreading rumours as they did had me laughing out loud.

An amazing story told of loyalty, friendship, and love in difficult times that kept me turning the pages and left me with a warm, fuzzy glow.

Absolutely recommended by me.

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Kerry Barrett is the author of nine novels, including the Strictly Come Dancing-themed A Step in Time, and The Girl in the Picture, about a crime novelist who solves a 160-year-old mystery.

Born in Edinburgh, Kerry moved to London as a child, where she now lives with her husband and two sons. A massive bookworm growing up, she used to save up her pocket money for weeks to buy the latest Sweet Valley High book, then read the whole story on the bus home and have to wait two months for the next one. Eventually she realised it would be easier to write her own stories… Kerry’s years as a television journalist, reporting on EastEnders and Corrie, have inspired her novels where popular culture collides with a historical mystery. But there is no truth in the rumours that she only wrote a novel based on Strictly Come Dancing so she would be invited on to It Takes Two.

When she’s not practising her foxtrot (because you never know…), Kerry is watching Netflix, reading Jilly Cooper, and researching her latest historical story.

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