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Letters to the Lost

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  9,103 ratings  ·  1,372 reviews
An accomplished novel from a talented writer, Letters to the Lost is a stunning, emotional love story. Iona Grey's prose is warm, evocative, and immediately engaging; her characters become so real you can't bear to let them go.

I promised to love you forever, in a time when I didn't know if I'd live to see the start of another week. Now it looks like forever is finally runn
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 26th 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published April 2015)
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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,103 ratings  ·  1,372 reviews

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Alex is The Romance Fox
 photo 671bbd103b6f5ee323755d4939b84eb9_zps9nkfp6aq.jpg
I would like to share with you a book that has left a profound impression on me. Yes, its pure fiction and one may think ….oh it’s only a story made up in a writer’s imagination. Yes, it is that….but it will be a story that will inspire you…make you believe that Love is Timeless regardless….It’s a book I want to share with my friends…..a story that is heartbreaking but uplifting too. A love story that transcends time. Yes, you might also think that you have read similar stories…but L
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
A very clever novel which time-slips between two romances in modern and WW2 era London. When Jess finds a box of old letters while hiding in an abandoned house to escape her abusive boyfriend , we are transported back in time to the heartrending love story of Stella and Dan a U.S. Bomber pilot flying missions over Europe. I usually think stories told through letters are tedious, but this book finds just the right mix. I'm not surprised that several of my Bookclub's have chosen this as their mont ...more
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Every so often, a book comes along that is so thoroughly perfect that you feel like you're going to burst if you can't tell everyone about it. Otherwise they might never read it - and that would be so dreadful. Letters To The Lost by Iona Grey is published by Simon & Schuster on 23 April in paperback and for kindle: it's a substantial read, 560 wonderful pages, but it could have been twice as long as I never wanted it to finish.

We all read for different reasons, but one of the things I love is
Alice (Married To Books)
T/W- Rape, Domestic Violence, Depression with descriptions of taking anti-depressants

Letters To The Lost was a book that I won in a prize pack a few months ago on Twitter, being interested in stories involving the use of letters/written in letter form, I was keen to see how this novel would play out. Despite the trigger warnings listed above, I actually enjoyed this one and thought it was a good read. Set between the year 2011 and WW2, Jess has escaped from a toxic relationship and taken shelte
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2015
My interest peaked somewhere in the middle and I had a hard time finishing this book. It was a little too Nicholas Sparks for me, not sure how I ended up with this on my reading list... I should probably put a note about that when I add a book.

I know it was a different time, but Stella was hard to take. She was such a mousy person who could have spoken up once, at several different points during the story, and everything would have been fine. Right down to the central split in the book. She cre
Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)
Letters to the Lost is an enthralling novel—I was hooked from the first page. The narrative transitions back and forth from the story of Jess and Will in current times to Stella and Dan during WWII. Jess, taking shelter from her abusive boyfriend in abandoned house, comes across a letter written to Stella by 90 year old Dan. Jess, eventually with the help of Will, tries to piece together the relationship of Stella and Dan, and solve the mystery of what tore them apart. This is a beautiful novel ...more
Dec 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. I especially loved the love story between Stella and Dan as told through letters and lapses back in time.

Jess finds letters in a shoe box inside what appears to be an abandoned home she broke into to hide out from an abusive boyfriend. We learn of the love story between Dan and Stella as Jess reads the letters. Although I really enjoyed the book, I could have done without the modern day love story as it felt rushed and happened really fast. Stella and Dan's love story
вιвℓισρнιℓια {кιηgѕℓєу & ѕøяєη ƒσяєνєя}

An incredibly intense, compelling and deeply moving tale, I love it when books are like this .... so unexpected, and in this case, less is definitely more. So, so much more, and it will take me a while to recover from it. What an experience, and exactly why I love reading as much as I do.

Highly recommended, and I'll be anxiously looking out for more books from this author.

Set in London in the present day and in the early 1940s. Jess is a young woman on the run, desperate and alone. When she stumbles on an abandoned home, she sees it as an opportunity for refuge and a chance to give thought to her future. When she discovers a packet of letters hidden in a drawer, she is drawn into the love story of Stella and a young American airman, Dan. When a letter arrives at the house from Dan making one last appeal to reconnect with Stella, Jess is determined to find her.
I'm not a huge fan of romance novels, but goddamn, this got me good. This story has kept me hooked, and when one sets the alarm at 5am, just to wake up an hour earlier in order to grab more reading time, I know I have a good thing going.

This book is one of the first ones that I purchased on a wim, for the kindle. I suppose it got forgotten about with all of my other books I've been relentlessly purchasing. I'm SO glad I've finally got to it, as the story is just what the doctor ordered.

It was p
B the BookAddict
Nov 27, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: hist-fiction

It isn't my usual sort of book, being historical fiction that's really light on the history side. Just a warm story with romance at it's centre; I surprised myself by enjoying it. Yes, I can see why people read these all the time.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it

2.5 stars

With 4.25 average from 5,049 ratings, I’m obviously in a minority.

The blurb as well as numerous reviewers did an excellent job in describing the plot, so I'm just going to write my opinion about the story.

I admit, I struggled with how to rate the book. Beginning and up to probably 40% was a solid 4-stars with competent writing and intriguing plot that kept me glued to the pages. But this didn’t hold up.

I don’t generally like dual time line stories because I don't think many authors hand
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I did read did book in dutch for het Hebban reading club.

This book simply blew me away. I could not stop reading. The lives of Jess and Stella have so many common ground with each other and also with my own live. Many times this book made me crey.
Stella marries the reverend after living for 17 years as an orphan. She does not know much about the world and nobody did tel here anything. She did not had to worry about it because Charles does not touch here. She is realy surprised when Charles tells
Dale Harcombe
2011 and a letter is written from Maine. It is a letter of desperation and love from an old man to the woman he promised to ’love forever.’ He sends the letter to the last known address he has for her. But the letter is not found by his old love but a young woman who holes up in the abandoned house. Jess is on the run from an abusive boyfriend. Homeless and without much money, the abandoned house is a source of refuge for her. Jess cannot help herself. She reads the letter and wishes she could f ...more
Abby Green
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This truly is one of the most gorgeous, romantic and moving books you're likely to read in 2015. Evocative and beautifully written, Grey manages to take your heart out of your chest and squeeze it almost dry leaving just enough breath in your body to be blown away. I can't recommend it highly enough. ...more
I savored this book!
I loved the dual story line going from England in the 1940s to 2011. The characters and setting are so vivid to me. It was so easy to get drawn into the story of Stella & Dan during WWII, and I felt so bad that she was trapped in a loveless marriage to the Vicar, Charles.
All the 5 star ratings and reviews you see here are well deserved!
I highly recommend this book if you like historical fiction. It will be at the top of my favorites for 2016.
Liz Fenwick
Dec 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully woven tale of love and loss that breaks your heart and rebuilds it. I couldn't put it down. It was big juicy read that reminded me of books that I loved in the past that wrapped you up, held you tight and didn't put you down until you were left devastated that the book had ended yet totally satisfied. ...more
Jun 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Letters to the Lost is a dual storyline that focuses on two men and women- Stella and Dan in 1940's England & Jessica and Will in 2011 England. When Jessica takes refuge in an abandoned house in order to flee her abusive boyfriend, she stumbles upon a series of letters written by an American named, Dan. Dan, it appears, was a lieutenant in the Air Force who meets the wife of a vicar Stella Thorne, but somehow the two become separated during the course of the war and Dan has been trying to find ...more
Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

Step back into 1943, into a world during World War 2. Set against the backdrop of London, Letter’s to the Lost is a love story that transcends time, that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.

He was an American bomber pilot, whose chance of survival was only one in five. She was newly married. They met by chance, and didn’t mean to fall in love, especially with everything stacked against them.

This story was lovely, so beautiful, emotional and quiet a bit heart breaking.

We follow two time
Oct 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: four-star
This lovely story summarises everything I love about historical fiction. There is something quite mesmerising about romance during the war; that amongst the violence, the death and the poverty that love can still find a way to flourish.

Transcending two generations, the reader is introduced to Jess, an aspiring singer fleeing from her violent and controlling boyfriend. With nowhere else to go, she finds refuge in an abandoned house and discovers a box of love letters. With the help of heir hunter
 Readaholic Jenn
Jul 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An unexpected but heart-warming story of love and survival during World War 2.
Tara Chevrestt
When I first came across this blurb and title, I was somewhat afraid to read it. I was afraid it'd mostly be written through the hero and heroine's letters, with little to no dialogue.

I'm pleased to say that wasn't the case. There's plenty of dialogue, character interaction, and also a modern-day story following another couple who, each in their own ways, manage to tell us what happened so long ago to split Stella and Dan.

There are letters, from Dan to Stella, as the modern heroine finds them, b
Sue Gerhardt Griffiths
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey is the most magnificent and heart-wrenching love story I have EVER read!!! There’s no doubt that this novel will be added to my top 10 list of 2017.

It is impossible to not cry your heart out on completion of this book. Letters to the Lost is a truly captivating story. It blew me away from the first page and along the way it tore out my heart. Stella and Dan’s story is an unforgettable tale of a love so profound and powerful that it spreads over a lifetime regardl
Alayne Emmett
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was such a lovely book, from the first page right through to the last it just kept on giving and now I’ve finished it I feel lost.
It was a dual time line story and at times it was sad as it dealt with relationships during and after the Second World War and although it had a happy ending it left me feeling sad. This was a. We author for me and I hope to read others of hers in the near future.
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Letters to the Lost is a book that can be described in terms that are often overused and often felt to be clichéd, please forgive me when I tell you that this novel really is a book that you will struggle to put down, a book that is a complete and utter pager-turner and a book that the reader will lose themselves in completely. It is a story that spans sixty years, and is over 500 pages long, but the pages fly by so quickly as the story captivates the reader, you will become totally engrossed.


Thank you, Edelweiss, for providing this book from Thomas Dunne Books for review!

A young woman on the run from an abusive boyfriend and a terrible situation breaks into a small English home and comes across a shoebox full of WWII letters. The letters are written by the same man who recently sent a desperate plea to a Mrs. Thorne to get back in touch with him -- a letter dropped through the slot that Jess opens out of curiosity. The letters transport Jess back in time, to London 1942, to US ai
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can honestly say I've loved this book!
This is a powerful love story and one that I think will stay with me. I found myself thinking about Stella and Dan (and Jess and Will) when I wasn't reading, wondering what might happen to them next. I found myself eager to get home and read another chapter or two.
I could almost feel Stella's and Dan's pain when they were unable to be together and I was desperate for them to have a happy ending. Obviously I don't condone adultery, but you can't help who
Book-shelf Shelf
A story that spans years, from WW2 to present day. Stella and Dan's love story is not as easy one by far, but it is one which will keep you gripped to the end page. BY contrast Jess and Will have an easier time, joined by the letters from Dan and their desire to help reunite him with the love of his life. But no one knows of Stella and if she is even alive.

I'm not one for a sloppy love story and this is defiantly not that, but at the same time this is a love story that is more realistic than an
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 rounded up! This book was so well written and jumped back and forth between the love story of Stella and Dan in 1943, to the story of Jess and Will in 2011. I loved the dual timeline and was completely emotionally invested in both stories and the characters within them. I didn’t want to put this book down.
The Bursting Bookshelf of a Wallflower
5 stars for this beautiful story!

I have to admit that I was afraid to pick this one up - I have been reading the blurb in bookstores and libraries and I have been amazed by the tons of good reviews the book got by other writers and by the readers. Unfortunately, I read a few books that have been equally well recieved and I turned out to be quite disappointed.

Luckily, this hasn't been the case here! I immediately fell in love with Dan and Stella on the one hand and with Jess and Will on the oth
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Iona Grey has a degree in English Literature and Language from Manchester University, an obsession with history and an enduring fascination with the lives of women in the twentieth century. She lives in the rural North West of England with her husband and three daughters. She is the award-winning author of Letters to the Lost, and her new book The Glittering Hour is on sale October 17 2019 (UK) an ...more

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