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Letter from a Stranger

3.37  ·  Rating Details ·  1,363 Ratings  ·  250 Reviews
Letter from a Stranger

Barbara Bradford

Justine Nolan is a documentary filmmaker who lost her cherished grandmother a decade ago—the only source of love and comfort in her life. Her own mother, Deborah, has always been distant, focusing on her career as an interior designer. But when Justine inadvertently opens a letter addressed to her mother, she discovers that not only is
Paperback, 432 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published September 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,778)
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
I finally finished this, and I am very glad I did. While some parts did not appeal to me, the memoirs of Justine and Richard's grandmother, Gabriele were very moving and at times heartbreaking.

I can't quite give this four stars because it was too slow moving initially, but it's definitely worth 3.5 stars, just for the WW2 narrative.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine.

Kitti Boesel
Jun 05, 2012 Kitti Boesel rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel
I would give this book negative stars if I could...
The premise is good. The writing is horrid. The story is choppy, at best and feels forced. The conversation between Americans keeps grabbing English phrases, for no apparent reason. There are random comments thrown in to the story that just feel like an afterthought. I usually only give a book 40 pages, but I really wanted to enjoy this story. I gave it 150 pages and they were painful and never once made me care about a single character in the s
I listened to it. And to begin I hated the romance, Ive never read such tasteless romance before in my life. You could actually see me grimacing while going through it. I plodded on only because it was a recommendation from my sister in law who promised me that the end would be rewarding. And it was! The 2 stars are only for Gabri The grandmother and her story. As for Justine the heroine better things left unsaid. The book requires a lot of editing too as the same information is repeated by diff ...more
Eva Leger
4.5 - I won this from FirstReads after entering because the description captured my attention. When I received the book I got a little nervous. It looked more like an older Delinsky book than I would have liked. More romance-y/chick-lit-y if you will. Not my thing.
I read an ARC in early March so I don't know if the cover of the ARC is the same as an actual edition cover but I don't feel it's right for this story. It's not that it doesn't fit - it's just too generic. It gives no real feel for the
Jul 22, 2012 Eve rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story sounded so good, I really wanted to like it! The writing was so terrible, tons of extra words just thrown in, it felt like high school when you added words to just make the paper longer. The characters were just not real, too rich, too dramatic, too perfect. Constantly reminded sentence after sentence of teh same thing, traits that were already established. (Twin Bond to name one) I stuck with it for several chapters hoping that once it got going it would get better as the story line ...more
Oct 24, 2011 Aileen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Justine Nolan is a Film Director, she lives in Manhattan she has a twin
brother Richard (who is grieving his wife’s death) and a niece Daisy. 8
years ago their mother (Deborah) moved to Californian therefore Justine
and Richard have use of her house. Deborah is away for 6 weeks in China
so when Justine is going through the mail she finds a letter addressed
to Deborah with an Istanbul postmark she opens it and is speechless and
shocked to learn that Deborah lied to them 10 years ago by telling th
Apr 10, 2012 JoAnne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have loved all of Barbara Taylor Bradford's books and Letter From A Stranger is no exception. The book was nothing like I expected but it drew you in from the beginning. The memoir written by Gabri/Gran was unbelievably vivid and you felt every emotion. Throughout the book there was laughter and tears, romance and strong female characters. I would love to see a continuation of this story. While there is closure due to the epilogue there is so much story to tell of the reunion, the new family d ...more
Ana Bernardes
Jul 23, 2016 Ana Bernardes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Posso vos dizer que tenho este livro há pelo menos um ano e que já tinha começado a ler, mas outras literaturas meteram-se pelo meio e acabou sempre por ficar para o fim. Mas lá decidi acabar com ele e arrependo-me de não ter começado mais cedo. Um livro que fala do tempo do Holocausto e que acaba por nos tocar, pelo menos para quem possa ter um coração mais sensível claro.
Diane Davis
Apr 02, 2012 Diane Davis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Book... This is the second book that I have read in the last month that had to do with the holocaust.. While the book was fiction, the holocaust wasn't and it is always a heartwrenching story.. I cried buckets through this one but it had a wonderful ending so all is well... Loved, loved, loved this book...
Jul 12, 2012 Bayneeta rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio
This is Bradford's 27th book. I know she has a loyal following, so I expected better. I thought the dialogue was frequently awful; the plotlines were frequently over the top or added nothing; and the reader, while sometimes spot on, was more often annoying. Why did I finish? Reading for a genre study.
I am a bit embarrassed to admit I read this book and more astonished that the author has written 26 other books and received the OBE. While the story is original in many ways the prose is terrible. Obviously I am not on the same planet as many other people who seem love this type of writing.
The dialogue was really unbelievable, why do people write the way no normal person would speak. The story a little on the fluffy side.
Feb 13, 2012 Éponine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Se la vita fosse semplice come in questo romanzo saremmo davvero tutti a posto...
Ana Luisa
Desde que li a sinopse deste livro que algo me despertou a atenção. Não conseguia explicar o que era, mas queria ter a oportunidade de o ler e essa leitura acabou por ser mais ou menos aquilo que eu esperava. Este é um livro que promete ao seu leitor revelar segredos e paixões, mas na verdade penso que apenas irá revelar um dos segredos mais bem guardados da família Nolan. Tudo começa quando Justine abre uma misteriosa carta endereçada à sua mae e o que descobre irá mudar a sua vida e da sua fa ...more
Jul 18, 2012 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A memorable work of historical fiction that spans from the 1930's to 2004 in such diverse locations as New York City, London, Istanbul, Berlin and Connecticut.

While I have read a great deal about the Holocaust of WW II, I knew very little about Istanbul. It was fascinating to learn about the city and its rich culture and history.

I especially enjoyed learning about tulips and the fact that they originated in Asia. Tulips have also been my favorite flowers, and I have always associated them with
Cathryn Dolly

Excellent touching book..I like the character Justine for many reason filmmaker and willing to track her grandmother down so curoius to KNOW her!!
Rediscovering her grandmother who she didnt know and finding out on the letters the difficult time her grandmother growing up during the holocaust losing many for her supporters and her family . I cried too ) nice story on istanbul and the culture too . Iffett the character/personatily reminds me of a nice friend I know in a forgeien country :-)
Apr 13, 2012 Toby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a very good book. I think you might like it, Lisa. About a family torn apart - the mother telling her twin son and daughter upon their graduation from college that their beloved grandmother had died in a plane crash. Ten years later the mother receives a letter that the daughter opens saying she should contact the grandmother. Unfortunately there is no return address on the envelope, but the daughter remembers the person that wrote the letter was a very close friend of her gra ...more
Esther Bos
I gave this book two stars only because the WWII section was interesting. Even that wasn't compelling, but at least it was more believable than the story line of wealthy jet-setters, who fall in love (and into bed) at first sight and have servants to care for all their needs. The author uses several expressions (e.g. "It was a fluke", "she was a flake") and descriptions (e.g. the tulip gardens, the evil mother) over and over as if there were limited words in the English language. Finding the gra ...more
Abby Cooley
Mar 02, 2012 Abby Cooley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this books in a goodreads first reads giveaway.

This book was a very good book.

After Justine finds a letter from addressed to her mother from someone she doesn't know she realizes then ten years ago her mother lied to her and her brother when she told them that their grandmother died in a plane crash.

Justine then sets out to find her grandmother. This book is a very emotional book about family, love, lost, and war. I really enjoyed the book and recommend it to anyone who wants to read abou
Nicole Cerritelli
May 26, 2016 Nicole Cerritelli rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Most of my issues with this story come from the writing itself. There are others, but I'll start with how it's written. So much of the dialogue feels unnatural, and not like anything an actual person would say. As for the narration, one big problem is how redundant it can be at times. Not only is the narrator repeating herself frequently, but also, if an event happens in the book, a character will then tell another in unnecessary detail what just happened, and so, in a way, we're rereading the e ...more
"Finalmente - segredou-me ele ao ouvido -, sou o que desejava ser. Parte de ti." pág.226, in Uma Carta Inesperada de , Bradford, Barbara Taylor

Foi o primeiro livro que li desta autora. Achei a última parte a mais cativante, apesar de todo o livro ser agradável.

Tem a descoberta da carta, a procura, o encontro da pessoa amada e do seu amado "Coup de foudre", alegria, a revolta, a crueldade que um ser humano é capaz de fazer a outro,mistério e a resolução.


"Finally-me - he whispered in m
Feb 24, 2016 Marty rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barara Taylor Bradford’s novels often focus on the rich hardworking women who also cherish family. Here she does it again. Set in 2004, Justine, an Emmy winning TV producer of documentaries, opens a letter – addressed to her mother – and finds that the grandmother she thought was dead, was alive. She and her twin brother (a successful architect) have little contact with their mother, but do send her financial information on the family property. Their mother was the one who told them that their g ...more
Jan 15, 2016 Erin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My one major piece of advice with this book? Don't get the audio book. The reader over enunciates and any word with a T in it will grate your nerves. Also, other than the Brits, any and all foreigners had a Russian accent. Chilean, Turk, didn't matter, Russian accent it was. Nearly drove me insane.

Update: So it ends up there is a Russian character, but she has the least Russian accent of them all. And credit for accurate German accents.

So I agree with most other readers in that the first half of
Rosemary Lauryn
Do. Not. Waste. Your. Time.
I’ve wanted to give Barbara Taylor Bradford a try for a while now because she comes highly recommended and she’s written like 82,000 books. But she fell short with this one.

Read full review at:
Mar 25, 2012 Dottie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This suspense-filled novel takes you on a panoramic tour of Istanbul, leaving you longing to travel there. Packed with danger, secrets, Nazi occupied Germany, intrigue and a once-in-a-lifetime love, this story is unforgettable!
Apr 07, 2012 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance
Predictable in places, a little unbelievable in others, but overall an enjoyable romance novel. Loved the descriptiions of Istanbul - made me want to put it on my travel list!
Jun 07, 2012 Jean rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have never been disappointed by Bradford's books- and this one was no exception. She wrote with more content on this one, and certainly made the reading a a good one.
This book had a surprising twist to it. Justine Nolan opens a letter intended for her mother and finds out her beloved grandmother is indeed alive. Her mother had told her and her twin brother 10 years before that their grandmother had died in a car crash. Justine sets out to find her grandmother and once she does, she asks questions about her grandmother's past that lead a story about survival in Germany during WWII. This section of the book was fascinating to me and led to my 3 star rating for ...more
Apr 08, 2012 Hope rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. There is arel surprise turn of events, and without giving away too much, WW2 events are recorded.
Richard Stephens
Jul 04, 2016 Richard Stephens rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very solid 4.5 star read. was actually a toss up between 4 or 5 stars.

This story starts off with Justine accidentally finding out that her Grandmother is still alive after both her and her twin brother Richard were told she was dead.

Justine goes in search of her Grandmother and the plot initially is about this search.


Justine finds her Grandmother and slowly learns about an incident where Justines mother disown her mother; Gran is a Jew and survived in Nazi Germany, she kept tha
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Barbara Taylor Bradford is the author of 30 bestselling novels, including The Cavendon Women, Cavendon Hall, and The Ravenscar Dynasty. She was born in Leeds, England, and from an early age, she was a voracious reader: at age 12, she had already read all of Dickens and the Brontë sisters. By the age of twenty, she was an editor and columnist on Fleet Street. She published her first novel, A Woman ...more
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“A une époque de sa vie, il y avait de cela de nombreuses années, elle avait perdu sa foi en Dieu. Elle l'avait maudit, haï, accusé d'être responsable de tous les maux de la terre. Mais le mal n'était pas une création de Dieu. L'homme avait inventé le mal. Finalement, elle avait réussi à pardonner à Dieu.” 0 likes
“La semaine dernière, nous avons pris une décision. Nous allions sortir pour déblayer les briques. Des femmes de notre quartier y travaillaient quotidiennement. Les Trümmerfrauen. Elles nettoyaient les briques de toute trace de ciment. Elles empilaient dans des brouettes. Les emportaient dans un dépôt. On utiliserait les briques pour recronstruire Berlin. Une tâche utile, mais épuisante.” 0 likes
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