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The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  356 ratings  ·  74 reviews

A forgotten woman...

1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther's prison but soon becomes her refuge.

A cache of unsent love letters...

2018. When free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker is forced to take shelter on a far-flung island off the Cornish

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published August 5th 2019 by Orion (first published May 28th 2019)
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Kayte Nunn Thanks for your question Shelley, there are parts of Pittwater that are accessible by car, but there are also those that are water-access only -…moreThanks for your question Shelley, there are parts of Pittwater that are accessible by car, but there are also those that are water-access only - Scotland Island, Elvina Bay and more. Hope this helps.(less)
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It was 1951 when young mother Esther Durrant accompanied her husband John on an unexpected holiday. But unbeknown to her, John was leaving her in the care of a doctor, on an isolated island far from her home and her boy, Teddy. When Esther realized what had happened it was far too late to do anything about it. Abandoned and in the company of other mentally wounded men, nevertheless Esther gradually began to heal.

2018 and in her twenties, Eve had thought she would be with her boyfriend but the
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn. (2019).

1951: Esther, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. It is at first her prison but then becomes her refuge.
2018: Rachel, a free-spirited marine scientist, discovers a collection of hidden love letters and is determined to track down the intended recipient.
Also in 2018, Eve is helping her grandmother, a renowned mountaineer, write her
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Every once in a while a very special book comes into your hands at EXACTLY the right time. The Forgotten Letters by Esther Durrant by Kayte Nunn is that book. It came to me at a time when I needed it the most. This absolutely exquisite and superbly told tale of love, family, sacrifice, endurance, the strength of the human spirit and long held secrets is a novel that I could easily award all the stars for.

A collection of letters provides an essential link
Dale Harcombe
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story opens in 1951 with John and Esther Durrant making their way to the south west top of England. Esther thinks it a strange choice for a holiday especially since it is only early November. Plus they had leave their young son Teddy at home with the nanny. It is only after they arrive at Little Embers, she finds that it is not a holiday at all. John has her committed to a small isolated mental asylum. The next chapter starts in 2018 with free spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker leaving ...more
Theresa Smith
‘A seam of light escaping heavy curtains that had been drawn across a window came into focus and she raised her head to fully appraise herself of her surroundings. She had no idea where she was. Beneath her, an eiderdown, on top of her a blanket, though she was clothed beneath it. She tried to move her arms but found that they were securely wrapped around her waist. A coarse fabric chafed at her neck. She rolled to one side in an attempt to free her arms, but it was in vain. She had been bound. ...more
Karren  Sandercock
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Thanks to NetGalley, Hachette Australia and Kayte Nunn for my digital copy of her new book : The Forgotten Letters Of Esther Durrant and I really enjoyed reading this book.
In 1951, John and Esther Durrant leave to go on a holiday and John has secretly made other plans! Esther finds herself isolated on a small island off the coast of Cornwall, she's not very happy when she discovers that she has been tricked by her husband and he did what he thought was the best for her at the time.

Esther is
Jennifer (JC-S)
‘It wasn’t their usual destination for a holiday and the timing was hardly ideal.’

In the autumn of 1951, John and Esther Durrant embarked on what she thought would be a holiday. But Esther quickly discovers that the house on the isolated island off the coast of Cornwall is a private mental asylum. She’s angry with John for committing her to this asylum and frustrated that she is unable to leave. Dr Richard Cresswell, the psychiatrist who runs the asylum, takes a small number of patients. Esther
Sharah McConville
I love stories set on isolated, windswept islands so The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant lived up to my expectations. Thanks to Books With Heart Book Club for my copy of the June edition of their group read. I enjoyed Kayte Nun's book immensely.
Tracey Allen at Carpe Librum
The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant is a terrific historical fiction novel from Australian author Kayte Nunn. Unfolding in dual timelines (1950s and 2018), the story is told from three character perspectives: Rachel (Marine Scientist), Esther Durrant (of the title) and Eve, looking after her grandmother in London.

It has to be said that I'm not usually a fan of romance novels or a great love story, but somehow Kayte Nunn tricked me by writing such a compelling historical fiction novel about a
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a story that I found very hard to put down, the story of two woman one in the 1950’s and one in 2018 and the story of a love that lasts for over sixty years, the strength and courage shown by Esther and what she went through back in 1950 will have you turning the pages, a fabulous story that I highly recommend.

Esther Durrant is a young wife and mother living in England, it is 1951 and she has been sent away to an isolated island is the Scilly Isles by her husband to get help from a
Morgan | Mashleas Reads
The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant was beautiful, hauntingly well written and completely engaging.

It is written with intertwining points of view to construct a mystery of life, love and sacrifice. It is well crafted to engage readers emotions and take them on a journey. And what a wonderful journey it was. It was so easy to read, kept me wanting more and made my heart swell with both admiration and heartbreak.

Esther Durrant is taken on holiday in Southern England by her husband, and
The Lost Letters of Esther Durrant is a dual timeline novel set in both 1951 & 2017. The book starts in 1951 with Esther's husband taking her on a supposed holiday to the Scilly Islands, I was horrified at the turn of events when it turns out he is committing her to an asylum. I had to put the book down I was that disturbed that a husband could have the power to do something so underhanded. I felt Esther's shock and disbelief in what was happening to her.

In 2017 we have two separate stories,
Debbie G
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love starting a book and immediately feel like you have been wrapped in a snuggly blanket and can settle in for a wonderful read. Kayte Nunn certainly delivers in this captivating tale set on a remote Cornish Island. The indomitable spirits of her characters shine through in this dual timeline as the forgotten letters lead us on an intersecting trail of healing, love and secrets. I didn't want it to end.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I had no hesitation in highly recommending Kayte’s book last year, ‘The Botanist’s Daughter’ to lovers of historical fiction - it had a real Kate Morton feel to it - and was fabulous! So it was with great anticipation that I embarked on her latest offering, ‘The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant’ and I am happy to report it, likewise, is a wonderful read.

‘I can see that you’re trying to find the light, just as fiercely as you were digging for those clams. But you know the real trick is
Bree T
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book opens in such an intriguing way. Esther Durrant is a young wife and mother who has recently suffered a terrible loss. She’s been struggling to cope and her husband is apparently taking her on a holiday, leaving their young son behind in the care of others, so that Esther can find some sort of enjoyment again. Their destination seems somewhat suspect – a remote island in terrible weather, a huge mansion. Not really the relaxing and indulgent holiday that Esther was expecting. She ...more
May 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gifted, first-reads
In depth

With The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant, Kayte Nunn has cemented her status as one of Australia's most exciting historical fiction voices. The novel, with it's compelling dual timeline and spectacular Isles of Scilly setting, is an easy one to get swept up in, full of tragedy, romance, empowered women and a good dose of adventure. Readers should note triggers for SIDS, PTSD and suicide.

In 1951 Esther Durrant and her husband John take a boat trip to a remote southern UK island,
Sue Houghton
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found myself engrossed in this book and caring about the characters as their various stories were revealed
I will definitely be checking out previous works by Kayte Nunn to add to my TBR
Angelique Simonsen
Not for me. It was just too predictable
Yolanda Sfetsos
Last year I read and really enjoyed The Botanist's Daughter, so of course I was interested in checking out this author's latest release.

The location might confuse her, but Esther Durrant thinks she's heading out for a nice holiday with her husband. After the heartache she's been through, she's glad for the break. But soon after arriving at the isolated island, she realises something isn't right.

Rachel Parker is an Australian marine scientist who travels all over the world. She doesn't like
Amber Hassen
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel follows the stories of 3 women. Esther, set in 1951 and Rachel and Eve, both in 2018.

After the loss of her second son, Esther is plunged into a constant state of depression. Blaming herself for his death, she becomes numb to her thoughts and emotions.
Believing it to be the right thing to do, Esther's husband invites his wife on a "vacation" with the intent of committing her into a mental institution. The institution, on the remote island of Little Embers, is run by Dr Richard
I enjoyed this but felt that Leah’s story wasn’t really explored.
Jun 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Some books just resonate with you from the first page and that was very much the case for me as I indulged in The Forgotten Letters Of Esther Durrant. This is a beautifully written and elegant book providing insight into aspects of psychology in the 1950’s through the experience of Esther Durrant, sent to a remote island off the Cornish coast for treatment of her severe post natal depression.
Written as a dual timeline novel wth three distinct stories, this is a complex book yet author Kayte
Sharon Jarvis
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a delightful story!
Initially I was put off from reading this novel because of the title - I found it a bit dull and didn’t feel drawn to the book. How wrong I was as this was an incredibly interesting and intricate story that showed not only depth of historical research but also a lot of heart and feeling. The moving across times was smooth and easy to follow. The characters were also both interesting and intriguing with quite a range of personalities that enhanced the storyline.
Although a
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Infamous Sphere
If Goodreads had half stars I'd give this 3.5. A decent historical novel about a woman struggling with depression after the death of her baby exiled to a surprisingly compassionate mental hospital on the isles of Scilly. This is the second book set on the Isles of Scilly that I've read in the past year, which is kind of funny cause I'd never heard of them before.
The past sections were decently written, but the modern day sections with Rachel, a marine biologist, discovering love letters to
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Predictable read but enjoyable- reminded me of Kate Morton’s earlier books.
Chapter Ichi
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thank you to @hachetteaus for hosting this giveaway and sending me this novel.

My review

This was the perfect winter read, as I snuggled up under a blanket and read this delightful novel on the first day of the cold season. The Scilly Isles was the perfect setting, as I imagined the island with it's beautiful beach, wild flowers and gardens surrounding the residence. As I curled up with this novel it was raining outside, yet Kayte Nunn managed to transport me to the sunshine and wild mountain
Margaret Galbraith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book with 3 main threads. In the 1950s we follow Esther, a young mother with post natal depression who is sent to recuperate on a remote island off Cornwall. In the modern day we follow independent Rachel a marine biologist who is finding her feet in the Scilly Isles ready to start a new project. The third thread follows Eve as she helps her Grandmother recuperate following a fall.

This is a book which had great potential but which I didn’t feel quite lived up to it. The historical
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was immersed in this story immediately and read it in just a couple of days. The dual timeline tells the story of two women. In 1952, Esther Durrant is a young housewife and mother who has gone through an unspeakable tragedy that puts her into a deep depression. Her husband takes her to a remote island where a doctor friend of his operates a small facility specifically for helping men who are recovering from the tragedies of war. Against his better judgement (because he's never treated a woman ...more
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Without being really aware of it, I have always written - angst-ridden teenage diaries, bad poetry, little bits of stories and so on. After studying English and publishing at university I worked in book publishing as an assistant and then an editor. Realising that I wanted to do more of my own writing, I went to work in magazines, first as a features writer, a copy editor and then an editor.