The Lost Letter
|April 24, 2018||Posted by admin under Fiction, Historical Fiction|
Written by Jillian Cantor
Published by Riverhead Books
Distributed by Penguin Random House Canada
Reviewed by Christa McGrath
Publication date: June 2017
Review posted on: April 24, 2018
In Cantor’s The Lost Letters, two stories unfold. One from 1939 and the other from 1989. Fifty years separate these stories but a postage stamp and a lost letter somehow find a way to unite them.
In 1939 when Hitler and Germany were on the verge of WWII, a Jewish stamp maker took a young apprentice name Kristoff under his wing. Kristoff, who grew up in an orphanage, found a way to earn a living, a sense of family he so longed, and a love he never imagined. But the German invasion quickly changed these newfound comforts and Kristoff found himself at a crossroads in life when he lost all he had come to love so deeply and survival was all he had left.
Katie Nelson’s father, Ted, was a lifelong collector of old things. He loved visiting yard sales, estate sales and thrift shops in search of what he called precious gems. What he loved most was searching for and collecting stamps; he thought every single one was valuable. When his mind began failing him and he was forced to move into a nursing home in 1989, he gave his beloved stamp collection to Katie. But Katie did not share the same appreciation for the stamps as her dad and brought them to a stamp dealer to have them appraised. And, as fate would have it, she gets more than just an appraisal. This visit brings Katie to unexpected places when she discovers that stamps have a story — and so she embarks on unravelling one such story 50 years in the making.
This is a book about love and loss, peace and war, triumphs and tragedies. Cantor alternates chapters between 1939 and 1989. Surprisingly, this is not confusing at all. It has a really nice rhythm, and I enjoyed going back and forth between the years. I easily became immersed in the stories and into the lives of Katie and Kristoff and all the characters within their circles. Each one was endearing and had an important role to play in bringing the mystery to light. Because of this, I enjoyed their company and miss them now.
But I loved this book; loved how the stories unfolded, and LOVED the ending. I highly recommend to all mystery- and romance-loving readers. The Lost Letters really is an absorbing, page-turning book with movie-worthy potential.
To learn more about this book or to get your very own copy, visit the publisher’s website here.