Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

source: free review copy via AmazonVine
title: Letters to the Lost
author: Iona Grey
pages: 376
published: 2015
first line: The house is at its most beautiful in the mornings.
rated: 5 out of 5

1943, in the ruins of Blitzed London…Stella Thorne and Dan Rosinski meet by chance and fall in love by accident. Theirs is a reluctant, unstoppable affair in which all the odds are stacked against them: she is newly married, and he is an American bomber pilot whose chance of survival is just one in five…He promised to love her forever. Seventy years later Dan makes one final attempt to find the girl he has never forgotten, and sends a letter to the house where they shared a brief yet perfect happiness. But Stella has gone, and the letter is opened by Jess, a young girl hiding from problems of her own. And as Jess reads Dan’s words, she is captivated by the story of a love affair that burned so bright and dimmed too soon. Can she help Dan find Stella before it is too late? Now forever is finally running out.

My Thoughts:
Letters to the Lost was a well written romance that had me engrossed from page one. Author Iona Grey weaves this engaging storyline and takes the reader from past to present effortlessly.

The plot goes from 1940’s to 2011 where an unfortunate Jess breaks into an old abandoned house and finds an urgent letter addressed to Mrs. Thorne. She swears to try to find this Mrs. Thorne and deliver her letter, which is from an old love whose dying wish is to see her again. Swoon, I know. Jess has nowhere to live so she stays in the house for some time.

Will works as a probate researcher and has been assigned to find any last will and testament of a Miss Price.
His and Jess’s paths cross and as the story flows the plot alternates between these two and between Stella and Dan.

When the storyline flashes back to the 1940’s during WWII, Stella is married to Charles, a reverend who does not love her. He is not even able to consummate their marriage. Soon enough Charles tells Stella he has volunteered to go to war as chaplain to the forces and he leaves her behind. In a twist of fate, Stella meets Dan, an American bomber pilot and the two fall deeply in love.

Now, usually I do not like breaking of marriage vows in story lines, but it worked here without it being dirty. It is hard to word, but without giving too much away there is something behind Stella and Charles’ relationship that lets you know straight away that they do not belong together.

Anyway, I read Letters to the Lost in a single day as I was participating in the 24 hour read-a-thon, but I think even without that event, I would have finished this book in a sitting, it really swept me away.

The scenes between Stella and Dan made my heart skip a beat, they were truly romantic but also bittersweet and fraught with emotion as the two kept in touch with letters. Dan was in constant danger and their sparse meetings would end in worry over it being their last. Their love story was believable as was the war ridden backdrop. These characters are living during a time where nothing is certain and their loved ones can be gone in an instant. Oh gosh, Dan. Great hero alert. He smoked Lucky Strikes and I was fine with that. He never stopped loving Stella.

Her head was full of his voice and the things that he’d said. She wanted time to just hold those things there, and cherish them.
p.371, Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

When the story would sway back to Will and Jess, I was also on pins and needles because I wanted the two of them to make it out alright as well. I wanted them to find Stella and reunite her with Dan. I found the author did a wonderful job at having these characters help find one another; love in the past and love in the present.

The things that he left behind are the things that matter, like rocks exposed by the retreating tide.
p. 2, Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

The ending wraps everything up nicely, all the questions are answered and I teared up a the last few pages.

Well, favorite book alert. I loved this one so much! I recommend it to fans of contemporary romance and historical romance and just general bittersweet love stories in general. Get your tissues handy, this is a tear jerker.
Have you read this one? I’d love to discuss!


Disclaimer: This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. I received my free copy of Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey via AmazonVine.

15 thoughts on “Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey

  1. Naida, this really does sound incredible. Because of your review, I am adding this touching book to my wishlist. It may well be a favorite for me as well!


  2. Hi Naida,

    This sounds like a moving and intriguing debut novel, the lines you shared from the book shout quality writing!

    Any book worthy of such an in-depth and excellent review, together with your cherished 5star rating, has to be finding its way on to my ‘Want To Read’ list, so thanks for the recommendation 🙂

    Have a good Sunday.



    • Hi Yvonne. Thank you for the nice comments, I was very impressed with this book and it became an instant favorite.
      Enjoy your week!


  3. Great review of this one.

    I remember that you mentioned that you were reading this during the Read – a thon.

    It actually sounds kind of tragic as it seems that the protagonists lose touch with one another. I also tend to be bit uncomfortable with certain stories based on adultery, but, as you allude to, their are some marriages that are not meant to be,


    • Hi Brian. Yes, they lose touch for decades but I always enjoy a nice reunion. The author dealt with the issue of marriage and infidelity very well here.
      Thanks for stopping in!


  4. This one sounds wonderful Naida and such a great recommendation from you as well. It sounds like something I would like so Im going to check it out further. Glad you loved it so much!


  5. This does sound wonderful! I know what you mean about not especially liking stories in which marriage vows are broken. I’m not a fan either, but sometimes it does work, and I’m glad it did in this case. Thank you for bringing this book to my attention, Naida!


    • Hi Literary, yes, the author dealt with that plot line very well here as it was such a big part of the story.
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂


chat away

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.