Inspired by an incredible true story, this is an unforgettable novel about love, loss and one impossible choice…
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.
My thoughts: inspired by a real book of letters and other things, this is a lovely story, set partly in 1940/1 and now. Elsie is a nurse in a South London hospital during the Blitz, to cheer up her patients and provide some hope, she brings in a scrapbook and asks them to write letters to their loved ones, draw pictures, whatever they’d like.
Years later the book resurfaces after being thought lost and inspires Stevie to create a new book and a mural at the retirement home she works in. She wants to track Elsie down and find out what happened next.
Both Elsie and Stevie are dealing with complicated situations, struggling to stay afloat in their lives. The book connects them across the years and changes their lives forever. Heartwarming, bittersweet and rather lovely.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.