BOOK NOOK: The Lost Letter

The Lost Letter
by

Jillian Cantor

 

The Lost Letter is a remarkable historical novel rimming with mystery, grit, and grace.

Based on the work of the Austrian resistance to Nazi invaders via postage stamps (stamps!), “The Lost Letter” skillfully bridges two continents and 50 years. It spans 1938/39 Austria and 1989+ Southern California and Wales in two distinct, overlapping storylines.

The 1939 story follows a bittersweet romance between young Kristoff, an apprentice engraver, and master engraver Frederick Faber’s beautiful, audacious daughter, Elena. Together, they risk all to rescue their loved ones, sacrificing themselves to save each other.

Fast forward 50 years to the secondary story. It revolves around “nearly divorced” reporter “Kate the Great,” her philatelist (stamp collector) father, Ted, and a mysterious letter with a secret in its stamp. Unopened and unmailed, the letter is addressed to a woman in an Austrian town that no longer exists. Why?

Questions swirl through half a century. Kate seeks answers.

Is Ted’s stamp collecting a mere hobby or something else? How and why does he possess the Austrian letter with “proof of unusual daring?” Is “Ted” his real name? How does “Little Women” figure in?

Additionally, Ted is an Alzheimer’s patient. He doesn’t always recognize his own daughter. But he paints a green-eyed beauty with clarity and precision. Who is she? And why does Ted call her “my love” (it’s not Kate’s mother)?

Meanwhile, can Kate sort through her own pain as she searches for clues to her past along with another philatelist, Benjamin?

Riveting and warm, this is a bittersweet story chronicling the indomitability of the human spirit, enduring hope, and ageless love. It also gives a whole new meaning to the word “edelweiss.” Bring Kleenex.

One of the most interesting, engaging books of the year. I read all 316 pages in one sitting.

“See you again soon.”

 

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