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Last Letter Home

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,347 ratings  ·  137 reviews
From the bestselling author of A Week in Paris, and the Richard & Judy Bookclub pick A Place of Secrets, comes a gripping and moving story spanning 70 years, set in Italy and in Norfolk.

On holiday with friends, young historian Briony Andrews becomes fascinated with a wartime story of a ruined villa in the hills behind Naples. There is a family connection: her grandfather
Kindle Edition, 560 pages
Published March 22nd 2018 by Simon & Schuster UK
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,347 ratings  ·  137 reviews

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Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Briony a historian has gone to Italy on holiday with friends. While out walking one day she stumbles across a ruined villa that has connections to her late grandfather who was stationed there in 1943 during the war. She is given some film reels and letters by a local woman that had been left at the villa after the soldiers moved out. Briony decides to try and find out about Sarah and Paul the writer and recipient of the letters. This takes her on a journey of discovery and a secret that has been ...more

Visit the locations in the novel

I’m a sucker for dual time line stories and I do love a Rachel Hore novel so this ticked two boxes from the off! The crosses remained firmly in place as this was a fine story!

Two stories work well but I did love the historical part the best – the letters literarily come to life and I did love following the story of Sarah and Paul. There’s something so poignant and heartbreaking about love in war time and the way Rachel captured this was quite fitting! These letter
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommend this book for a nice easy read.
Absolutely lovely love story mixed with history of the war which I love.

I would have given this book 5 stars but I think it should be about a 4.5.

Going between each chapter of past and present and different characters at times became hard work but towards the end you start to understand and get to grips with everything.

I also didnt find this gripping to the point I had to read it and couldnt put it down.

Its just nice to gave a nice light read. Wil
Shirley Revill
Really interesting audiobook that I thoroughly enjoyed.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-fiction, a
This type of novel is just my cup of tea: a large slice of WWII history, an intriguing mystery and some family history, marvellous! But I must admit I got a little confused by the numerous characters spanning three generations - confusion probably made greater by the fact I listened to the audiobook. Nevertheless, the narrator skilfully negotiated the wide variety of accents, and it was a fascinating story which I enjoyed very much.
Emma Crowley
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've been a big fan of Rachel Hore's work ever since I stumbled across her first book The Dream House in my local library many years ago, since then I have read and loved everything she has written. She has a powerful way of blending the past with the present and I love how historical fiction but some elements of fact are present always have such an intriguing dominating role to play in the overall plot and themes of the story. In Last Letter Home, Rachel has once again written a story that with ...more
Oct 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Novel set in ITALY and NORFOLK - a delicious mix of everything you need in a good book!

Briony Wood, gentle academic historian, makes an ill-advised appearance on sexist Jolyon Gunn’s late-night chat show and this leads to an horrific twitter troll attack which leaves Briony very shaken up. To aid her recovery she escapes to Tuana in Italy with a group of friends where she becomes intrigued by the wartime story of a ruined villa nearby. What makes it even more fascinating is that Briony discovers
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
LAST LETTER HOME by Rachel Hore is a richly detailed novel with so much heart that it will surely worm its way into your own.

When Briony Andrews inadvertently gets drawn into the history of an Italian villa while on holidays with her friends, it will soon consume her time and change her life in very unexpected ways. Moving from the past during WWII where a group of people from a village called Westbury struggle with the changes that are happening around them, to the present where Briony is deter
Lisa M
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
An absolute corker of a dual-timeline story! It was a real slow-burner but I don't think the story suffered for it, I thoroughly enjoyed both the past and present aspects and will be looking up other works from this author.
Angela Moore Garden Tea Cakes and Me
I really did enjoy this book, for some silly reason I'd discounted it before I'd started it which is probably why it had sat on my bookshelf for the past year untouched.

Young historian Briony discovers some old letters, then whilst on a holiday in Italy she stumbles upon a connection to her family from events that happened in an Italian village during World War II.

On her return to England she delves deeper into the letters belonging to Sarah to find out how she is connected to Sarah and Paul m
Ali Bookworm
Jun 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I have read a few of this author's books and enjoyed them and I do love timeslip stories. I had been looking forward to this and it started off well but am sad to say it did nothing for me. I got quite bored and ended up skimming and skipping.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, 2018-releases

Rachel Hore is another author that I've heard many, many good things about but haven't read her books - yet! I was truly excited after being approved to read "Last Letter Home" on NetGalley - I do love a good historical fiction, I do love a dual timeline and I loved this beautiful cover. And so, without further delay, I dived into the fictional world of love, drama and the aftermath of the WW2.

Being on holidays in Italy, historian Briony not only stumbles across a ruined villa in the surrounding
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This the first book I have read by this author who I know is very highly regarded by many other bloggers I follow. Last Letter Home is just the kind of book I enjoy. As you'll possibly know if you have followed my blog for a while, I never can resist a book which involves letters which is why I was drawn to this one and I do love a dual time line story.

Whilst on holiday in Italy, Briony comes across a beautiful but abandoned old villa in the hills above Naples. When asking about it, she discover
Sep 05, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 really because the pre war and war sections were good. It was the 'present day' and the hugely co-incidental nature of the story that was a bit to hard to take and let the book down. Also it was over long when it didn't need to be. The 'modern' characters were irritating but that could also be a comment on us modern generation anyway. Blimey, Toast what a cynic! If you need to while away hours maybe this is the book for you.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really liked this book :)
Read my review as part of the blog tour on my blog, on 16/03/18.
Michael Tweed
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable well researched novel.
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
As usual a good and slightly unusual story set in Italy and East Anglia. Quite complex story line between the Second World war and the present.
Vickie Richens
Loved it
Jenni Hyatt
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this mixture of history and mystery, war and love. I found the main characters believable and enjoyed the blend of past and present.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This is a haunting story of love, tragedy and the aftermath of war. Beautifully written, Rachel Hore knits together the pre-war English country living, the legacies of the Second World War and family secrets.
Historian Briony Wood discovers some letters buried in a derelict cottage in Tuscany which lead her on a journey to Norfolk and meeting the descendants and a contemporary of those people mentioned in the letters.
A twisting story of secrets, lies and deception – be prepared for some late nig
Shaz Goodwin
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it

I always enjoy a dual timeline, often finding myself invested more in one timeline than the other. In Last Letter Home I enjoyed both but Sarah and Paul’s story drew me in emotionally. Paul keeps engaging with life despite the trauma we see him go through. After the war I so wanted things to work out for him. Despite Sarah’s circumstances she has a strength and determination with a zest for life … and I wanted to find out how her story ended. I wanted to r
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle
Some of the reviews I’ve seen of this book mention that they prefer the wartime story to the modern thread, but I really don’t agree – I thought they were both equally strong, and the transitions between them quite seamless. I really liked Briony, with her fragility, awkwardness and personal issues, her friendships, her encounters and sometimes challenging relationships, and her drive to find out the story behind the discovered letters.

The wartime story is something a little different – Sarah’s
Paula Sealey
'Last Letter Home' is an interesting dual timeline story. In the present day, Briony is given letters that were found after the war, written by a Miss Sarah Bailey. Keen to discover what happened to Sarah and the recipient of her letters, Briony uses her interest in history to uncover the tale.

I definitely had a preference for the wartime timeline and the blossoming relationship between Sarah and Paul, and enjoyed their story. I didn't warm to Briony's character in the present though, and found
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely story; heartwarming and beautiful. However, it took a long time to read. Not because it was a particularly long novel but because it never gripped me. It was just nice. I suppose it would make a good holiday read but I think the hype around it is misplaced.

So it's a tale of love letters; of war and conflict diluted by the rather boring modern story of Briony (who was a little self centred and annoying). The story of Sarah and Paul however was intriguing and really held me. It w
Aug 04, 2018 rated it did not like it
I picked this up as on Richard and Judy book club I have previously read other books by this author and enjoyed them.
This was seriously hard to keep going with and I hoped I would become interested but alas no
This was so so boring with errors that should not have made it to final copy. These errors made it difficult for me as the reader to follow the story for example Sarah being called Briony and Spanish titles being incorrectly used in Italy.
I have read many of these stories set in two timel
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Briony traces her connection to a bundle of war time letters from a rural Italian village which includes a photograph of her grandfather. Eventually discovering the identitiy of Sarah, the writer of the letters to a man of German origin working as a gardener in a Norfolk village before 1940. A complex and intriguing story.
Cleopatra  Pullen
Mar 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I do love a good dual time-line story and this one has two geographical references to enhance the experience even further.

In Last Letter Home historian Briony Andrews visits Italy with her friends and finds a link to her past in an old derelict house. Not totally unsurprising as she knew that her Grandfather had fought there during the war, but even so what could be more magical than to see him on an old reel of film. Even better she is handed a letter written by one Sarah Bailey to an as yet un
Elite Group
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A mysterious box links back to WW2 Italy

After being humiliated on live television and then trolled via Twitter, historian Briony Wood is persuaded to join friends on holiday in a villa in the small town of Tuana in Italy. Although she just wants to hide away, she begins to enjoy herself, especially when she discovers the derelict Villa Teresa in the hills above the town and learns that it housed allied troops during the war. Later she is given a box of letters written to ‘Paul’ from ‘Sarah’ in W
Debbie Littley
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story of war, loss, tragedy and secrets, spanning generations and a love story that stands the tests of time.

I won’t go into the storyline too much as the book description is enough to suffice and for fear that I will let something slip that would take away some of the magic that the plot twists bring to the whole book. Ok so they may not come as a massive shock but they need to be discovered for yourselves along the way.

The characters are wonderfully portrayed and you can’t help but
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I started reading 'Last Letter Home' on the Monday prior to Thanksgiving. Maybe the holiday caused me to be sentimental about families but whatever the case, this story struck the perfect chord with me. It contained all my favorite components: a dual timeline, old houses, gardens, plus a jag back thru WWII. Most of the past timeline was revealed thru an exchange of letters between Sarah & Paul. I found that interesting & I really liked both of those characters. They were equally rock solid.

In th
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Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, Norfolk and turning to writing fiction.

Rachel is the Sunday Times bestselling author of The Dream House (2006), The Memory Garden (2007), The Glass Painter's Daughter (2009), which was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year 2010, A Place of Secrets (2010), which was a Ric

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