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The Stolen Letter

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  1,105 ratings  ·  68 reviews
The longer her imprisonment went on, the more she cast her mind back to the stolen hours they had spent together. His love had blown in like an unexpected breath of warm summer air, giving her the promise of life and joy. But now they had been torn apart and she was tormented by the thought that they might never be reunited.

Italy, 1938: When Stella arrives in Florence, it’
Kindle Edition
Published September 24th 2020
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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,105 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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This is a historical fiction that takes place during WWII. I have to the beginning of this book is super slow moving and a little boring. The middle does so picking up the pace, and I did love the middle. I felt that the ending slowed down the pace again, and I did not loved the ending. I normally did not loved books that is about Art/Painting, but this book as a lot of other drama going on. I do feel the pacing of this book is off. I did love the characters. This is not the best historical fict ...more
Louise Wilson
Sep 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set in Italy during WWII. 1938: When Stella arrives in Florence, its love at first sight. Her father was dead and she had been invited to stay with her stepmother. Ted is an American journalist who is wild and arrogant. Stella is infatuated with him. But it seems Stella's past has caught up with her. There's a letter that could change the course of her fate.

What an emotionally twisted book this is. The book has been researched and it's well written. I wasn't keen on Stella but she grew on me. A
Deanne Patterson
I enjoy historical fiction taking place in almost any time period.
This one takes place during world war 2.
Very descriptive book about experiencing war during it and the aftermath affects on the mind and body. Some just aren't right in the mind after they experience war.
Very powerful book that will definitely make you feel as though you are there experiencing the war ,hearing the cries of pain,feeling the hunger in your stomach with the lack of food to be had,cowering in fear as the shelling sha
Sandra McKenna
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An exceptionally good read.

Florence, prior to and during World War II.
Art theft, lies, deception, secrets, physical and mental cruelty, new found love, the horror and devastation of war, and determination to overcome the atrocities.
I found this brilliantly written and researched book very hard to put down, and I can't recommend highly enough.
Trish at Between My Lines
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I'm addicted to World War 2 fiction as it shows how ordinary people survived in extraordinary times. Add in that this book is set in partially set in Italy, and it became a must read for me.

Ohhh I just loved it. From the beginning, I felt huge empathy for Stella, she has just left school and has no family. Alone in the world, she travelled to spend time with her distant Step Mother's new family (sounds like family I know, but there was zero emotional attachment).

With world events spiralling arou
Kirsty Bookworm86
Sep 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Title: The Stolen Letter
Author: Clara Benson
Publication Day: 24/09/2020


The longer her imprisonment went on, the more she cast her mind back to the stolen hours they had spent together. His love had blown in like an unexpected breath of warm summer air, giving her the promise of life and joy. But now they had been torn apart and she was tormented by the thought that they might never be reunited.

Italy, 1938: When Stella arrives in Florence, it’s love at first sight. She is wowed by th
Cheryl Sokoloff
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
“The core of the city of Florence has remained unchanged for centuries. You might take a stroll to the grocery store today and walk exactly in the footsteps of someone like Donatello or Michelangelo in the Renaissance.
For some, that fact is just an amusing thought, quickly forgotten. For others this simple walk becomes a pilgrimage, and you question, what is this magic I feel?
Does it come from the curious worn-out grey stone, or the way the light cuts through a narrow street?
Or the calm rhyth
Sep 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An Englishwoman stranded alone in Italy during WWII.

The Stolen Letter is a Second World War story of adversity and awakening.

Stella had a sheltered and comfortable life. Her father was a successful art dealer and had provided her with education and financial support despite not always being present.

Upon his unexpected death, Stella inherited a fortune but felt lonely in the world. Sometime later, even though she did not like her stepmother, she accepted the invitation to visit her and her new
Nabiha Tahsin
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The poignant tragical tale featuring the realities of War, a story of love being the light in darkest of times, a tale of misunderstandings, bad decisions, loyalty and lies.

The description is so top-notched that it made gasp with all the fears and emotions trembling across me. I could feel the character's emotions and their fear and desires, everything felt so realistic. I am so amazed by this. Another great point for this book landing with a 5 starred rating from me.
The story starts at 1938, wi
Lisa Konet
I was ready to give this 1 star when I found out it was yet another historical fiction book set during the time of WWII, there have been too many books in this time period that focus on the horrors of the war and the characters. Thankfully, this story focuses on the many different relationships of its characters throughout the novel; sibling, parental, romantic. I love how there is a bit of mystery surrounding missing paintings and one sister seems to have an idea where they are. This was much b ...more
Nicola Short
Aug 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoy historical fiction and was very eager to read this book. I loved the cover, it just makes you want to read this book.
This story had a lot going on...certainly many twists and turns and emotional moments.
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was ok
Set against the backdrop of WWII, we read about art and how valuable art pieces were affected by politics and the whim of politicians. Also how other characters were affected by all of that.

The details on the war and art were very interesting, but I didn’t feel any connection to any of the characters and did not feel the romance or the troubles.

Stella as the main character started really weak and clueless and a bit unlikable, although she grows as the book progresses, it didn’t make me like her
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-read-2020
A very well written descriptive book that makes you experience the war from start to finish. I enjoyed the story but at times I wanted to reach in the book and shake Stella.
Historical fiction fans will want to check this one out. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the early copy
Jossie Solheim
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
it’s 5.30 am and I have just finished reading the stolen letter and am in the wonderful stage of book hangover, where I wish there were more left to read and I have no inclination to move on to the next book and away from all the characters I have come to know and love in this one.

This is an extraordinary book, that slowly but surely pulls you in and devours you. The imagery is amazing, the story both enticing and heartbreaking, while being beautifully crafted.

I love story’s set in the war, an
Shirley McAllister
Love and War

I loved this book, the characters, the setting, and the time period. It was so good I didn't want to stop reading, I read way too late into the early morning.

The main character Stella is a young lady who just lost her father. She goes to Italy to live with her stepmother right at the beginning of WWII. This young lady will grow up much in the following years. I think that almost every emotion possible is found within these pages. Romance, Love, Fear, Anger, Sadness, Depression, Lone
Natalia Weissfeld
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
.ARC in exchange for homes review...

A beautiful Historical novel about WWII. The main action takes place in Florence, before, during and after the German occupation that resulted in Italy's exit from the war, in 1943.
Stella is a young English woman that, after his father's unexpected death, travels to Florence to meet with her stepmother, a much younger woman that has remarried a wealthy Count.
She will also meet his future husband and the little be of his life.
She also finds out about a family
Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling
A very enjoyable read, although up to halfway it could be seen as a drama or romance with very little mention of WW2. This in no way detracts from what was a fast but at times very tense novel.
I loved the characters, and Benson stayed true to them throughout.
Thank you NerGalley for this ARC in return for my honest review.
Emma Crowley
Aug 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Clara Benson is an author that I only discovered this year since her switch to historical fiction with Bookouture and I have to say I am loving her stories. The plots are compelling with characters you will both love and hate and a powerful story is woven within dynamic and interesting settings that really help set the tone for the overall plot and themes being explored. The prologue to The Secret Letter opens in Berlin in 1937 as Hitler is slowly ascending to his full power. A tense and dramati ...more
Corinne Rodrigues
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I’ve been reading a lot of WW2 historical novels of late and The Stolen Letter, like The Wartime Nanny, is a coming of age story of a young girl. Stella is however, an English girl whose wartime experience takes place in Italy.

A lot of the story revolves around the clandestine movement pieces of art during the war, as the Germans sought to acquire masterpieces from all the places they laid siege too. Stella’s late father, her stepmother and her second husband, and Stella’s husband are all in som
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Clara Benson stole my heart from the very beginning with this beautiful story about impossible tragedies of war and the possibilities of love. This novel is truly amazing and one I could not put down. I am honored to have read this prior to publication because The Stolen Letter is not one to miss.

What I liked:
👉 WWII Period Genre
👉 full of twists and turns
👉 takes place in Italy
👉 vivid and real descriptions that get you emotionally involved
👉 masterfully written where the characters leap off the pag
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Stolen Letter begins with Stella travelling to Italy to stay with her stepmother who has just remarried. It is 1938 and tensions are high in Europe. Stella's father was an art dealer at a time when the Nazis were stealing Jewish art. Stella's stepmother is hunting for missing paintings and hopes Stella can find them for her. But the danger of war becomes a reality before Stella can search...
The Italian location and historical era are well developed in the first part of the book. The descript
Evelyn Jane Thorne
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just as WWII is beginning, Stella travels to Florence after receiving a letter from her stepmother Monica who has invited her to stay at her villa. Stella is a young, naïve and highly impressionable girl who is quickly changed and influenced by Monica and her brother Marius. Then there is Ted, an American Journalist who Stella finds to be rude, arrogant and annoying. But at the same time she is excited by his wild and mischievous ways.

Unbeknownst to Stella, there are unspeakable tragedies just
Lee Husemann
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The whole gamut of human emotion is pretty much covered in this captivating and brilliantly written WWII Historical Fiction novel. The story begins in 1938 when Stella Cockburn travels from England to Italy to visit her stepmother, Monica, who has invited her to stay at her villa. Stella's father, an art dealer, died suddenly and her stepmother remarried rather quickly. There is a question of some missing paintings which Monica seems to think Stella knows the whereabouts of and mentions a myster ...more
Sep 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy reading historical fiction and this was a great read. I had read ‘In Darkness Look for Stars’ which I loved so was looking forward to a new title from Clara Benson.
‘The Stolen Letter’ is a riveting read of the life of Stella who is ‘orphaned’ as a young woman. She is invited to visit her step mother in Florence and falls in love with Italy. Stella is extremely naive having just finished school in London and really not having had any experience of life. Her step mother Monica has
J_Mc 251
Oct 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This is the second book in a week I’ve read that centered on an English woman in Italy during the rise of Mussolini in the early days of WWII. I thought the set-up was a grab, and it drew me in right away. I mean, any time you are in WWII fiction and you have Nazis in the opening scene, you know that there is going to be some hidden meanings or events. The premise was a tad shaky. A 19-year-old English female traveling to Italy in September 1938 seems foolish, especially if anyone at the time ha ...more
Nov 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
To be honest I was surprised at how into this book I got. Set around the Second World War, there are a few intertwining stories with a common thread between them being in Florence, Italy. Stella is invited to Florence by her stepmother after her father passes. As a young English woman, she is swept up by the country and the people she meets as rumours of war are spreading. However, as things do not go as planned, Stella finds herself in the middle of a war torn country, relying on new friends, a ...more
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Set mainly in Florence during World War II The Stolen Letter focuses on a young english woman named Stella. Stella is lonely and somewhat sheltered and still dealing with the death of he father she wished she had seen more. On the request of her stepmother she visits Florence and ultimately becomes swept up in the war. I liked the character growth for Stella during the book thought she from from a lonely and just out of school to a brave woman who takes risks to save others. The supporting chara ...more
Kristin- Shabby Chic Reader
Oct 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
This WWII historical fiction is set in Florence, Italy. It reads more like a spy novel than historical fiction because there was so much action and Stella was trying to find out her dead father's connection to missing art stolen from a Jewish Art Collecter/Seller.

I really enjoyed reading this high action book about the struggles Stella faced during the war. She went from being a fragile battered wife to a brave resistance member leading men to safety after they were captured by the Germans. Man
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, what a gem of a story. Once again, do not judge the quality of a book by the cost, this is the second low cost book in a row that I have read and they both have been absolutely great novels. I cannot recommend this book highly enough nor write a review that can justify why you should read it. Historical fiction at its best.
This book has it all, mystery, murder, greed, love, humor, romance, loss, lots of heart and WWII scenes that are well represented. Stella, Ted, Monica and Marius were
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Clara Benson is the author of the Angela Marchmont Mysteries and Freddy Pilkington-Soames Adventures - traditional English whodunits in authentic style set in the 1920s and 30s. One day she would like to drink cocktails and solve mysteries in a sequinned dress and evening gloves. In the meantime she lives in the north of England with her family and doesn't do any of those things.

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