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Letter From Home

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  788 ratings  ·  125 reviews
World-renowned journalist G.G. Gilman does her best not to think of the past. But one day she gets a letter—sent from the small Oklahoma town where she grew up—that brings it all back. Memories of people she had once known and loved dearly—and of the sultry summer when her life changed forever.
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 5th 2004 by Berkley (first published 2003)
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Average rating 3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  788 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Ken Bickley
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a complete departure from the usual "cozy" mysteries written by Hart. Mystery it is, but this one is serious. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Price, and would have deserved to win. Set in World War II small-town Oklahoma, it faithfully reproduces the conditions faced on the home front in 1944 as it follows one eventful week in the life of 14-year-old Gretchen Gilman. It's written as a memory, called up by that letter that gives the book its title. I won't divulge any further details ...more
Maureen Mullis
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: women-s-fiction
This is one of the best books I have ever read. The mystery is first rate, but the story .... the story is fantastic. Carolyn Hart is a fabulous writer, but this novel is far and above the best things she's written. The writing leaves you breathless. Set in 1944 as well as present day, it is a book that has a strong story, excellent writing and a mystery that will leave you thinking about it long after you close the book. ...more
Jodi Pomerleau
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked the story but thought it a bit long. I was pretty sure I had the murderer picked out very early, and I did, but not the correct reason for the murder. It was also apparent that the note left behind was a signal....I recognized it and was surprised it took to the end of the book for that point to be noted. Lies, secrets and failing to communicate all had a dire effect on the circumstances of Clyde's predicament, Grandmother's health, and Gretchen's jealousy. It's a good read but not compe ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This historical mystery was a book club pick and I found it to be an okay read. Seems like a historical fan’s beach read. It was fairly easy to get through, but the pacing of the plot was slow. I feel this book should have been edited down a bit because the story seemed repetitive at times. I enjoyed the setting, time period, dialogue, and the story overall, but it definitely wasn’t what you would call gripping or compelling. Even the mystery itself was a bit boring though it tied in nicely with ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I saw this book at the library and read that it takes place in a small town outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, I was drawn to it. I spent a lot of time growing up visiting family in a small town outside of Tulsa. The description of the town in the book could have been the one that I was familiar with.

Besides the nostalgia of forgotten small towns, the writing was wonderful. The book was an emotional roller coaster. Bits and pieces of typical small town life and joy, mixed in with the oppressive ai
Apr 16, 2014 rated it liked it
I originally found the premise of a highschooler spending her summer writing for a local newspaper a tad unbelievable, but given the timeframe (WWII) and the dearth of eligible male employees, the situation is a bit more believable, and I loved the premise of the editor as a mentor for the young girl. He was a believable and likeable character. The murder mystery was a bit contrived, but the characters were true to the historical period, the small-town setting, and the over-arching circumstances ...more
Susie James
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I got a copy of "Letter from Home" years ago, partly read it, then set it aside during a transfer of my stuff to a backyard mobile home recently. I could relate to the "old style newspaper journalism" Carolyn Hart writes about as her teenage Oklahoma heroine begins her career! The unraveling of the tragedies within the story she tells as she looks back as an old woman is done in such an appealing manner. -30- ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wonderfully written, story of secrets of a daughter, guilt, sadness and horrible loss of parents. All the time the everyone thinks it is murder and suicide, when in fact it was a two murders. Written by a friends point of view and the affects to her family, as well. Terrible and tragic.
Stacey Blanton
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of our book club selections for December. I had never read any of this author's books, and didn't know what to expect, but other book club members liked the book, so I was optimistic. I was not disappointed.
This story takes place during WWII in rural Oklahoma through the eyes of a teenage girl who has a job at the local newspaper. She is living with her German grandmother while her mom works in the defense plant in Tulsa. She is a very intelligent, responsible, and a talented write
Mar 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Picked this book up at a book exchange just based on the title. It was a great book, which tells the tale of a young girl who, as a fledgling reporter in a small town in Oklahoma during WWII, writes about the death of a neighbor, who the town believes was murdered by her husband. Each chapter begins with a snippet from a letter she receives much later in life from someone in her hometown. This mystery, in the end, was solved, and the murderer not anyone I suspected or for the reasons I suspected ...more
Sep 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A mystery revealed when G.G.Gilman gets a letter from her hometown later in life, giving details of the mystery that she reported on in her neighbourhood when she was a young reporter. A woman murdered, and her husband blamed for it, but in the end you find the truth will come out!!!

A short, easy read!!
Sue D.
Nov 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A stand-alone mystery from the author of the popular Death on Demand series, set in a small Oklahoma town in the latter years of WWII. I enjoyed this book, which is a mystery, a coming-of-age story, and an excellent portrayal of small-town life on the home front during WWII. Warm-hearted and nostalgic with well-drawn characters and setting.
Apr 05, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a interesting story, of two young girls and what happened to them as they grow up, it was a mystery and you don't find out about the who done it until the very end. Good story, but not as good as some of Carolyn Hart's stories. It can go slow and you have to stay with it. ...more
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Interesting, well-written book about a young newspaper writer's experience one summer on a newspaper in her small town in Oklahoma. Flash forwards to the experienced, elderly writer who has traveled the world. ...more
Oct 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
A story of a cub reporter and the happenings in a small town, including a suspicious murder and family interactions. I thought I had the ending figured out, but it turned out I was wrong, so there is some suspense and I liked that the story wasn't predictable. ...more
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was ok
I would give this a high 2 but not quite a 3. I liked the way she recreated life in 1944 but wasn't as enthralled by the story. I felt that there wasn't a lot of direction to what was happening. She wrapped it up in the end but that didn't quite make up for the lag in the rest of the book. ...more
May 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very good read to kick off summer reading. Great plot, solid characters, not a page turner to get to the next page but a page turner to see how everything would play out. Really enjoyed this book!
Sep 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Was captivated through the whole book. Well done!!
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very different from Hart's usual storylines. An interesting story. ...more
Joe Keefhaver
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
A very readable mystery novel set in a small Oklahoma town during World War II. How the story ended was a complete surprise to me.
Rachel Lorenz
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Very slow moving. Did not hold my interest. The ending was underwhelming. Also had some editing issues. Would not recommend.
Sep 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: in-my-library
I don't care for historical fiction or mysteries, so I was pleasantly surprised how hard it was to stop turning the pages of this novel. ...more
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alison Kelley
Feb 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Listened to the audio book from the Hamilton Library.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was ok
2.5. I really liked the main character GG and her grandmother but the story was very predictable
Oliver Stewart
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book for our book club month of January 2020. I had never read this Author but look forward to reading others by her. A great mystery that keeps you guessing until the end.
3.6 quick mystery, good read. Wrapped up a little too quickly but was otherwise an easy read.
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, mystery-crime
I really enjoyed this unusual mystery reading.
Carrie Kellenberger
Dec 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Our story begins in retrospect with an aging Gretchen receiving a letter from home from her childhood friend Barb. As Gretchen lets her mind wander back to that fateful and tragic summer, she tells the story of how she became set on the path of becoming a successful journalist. Her story takes us back to small town Oklahoma during the years of World War II.

When 14-year-old Gretchen's high school English teacher helps her land a job reporting for her local newspaper, she is thrilled by the prosp
Jobiska (Cindy)
I enjoyed this book and will definitely keep an eye out for works by this author in 2ndhand stores etc. Her characters are rich and full, as is the authenticity of her WWII small town Oklahoma setting. The structure of the book, switching from the main character in first person as an older woman to 3rd person memories as a girl, was a tad confusing, especially since I caught the author (ha ha!) in one mistake ("my" in the 3rd person part), and more so because the older narrator's musings would b ...more
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Also writing as Carolyn Hart.

An accomplished master of mystery with 46 published books, Carolyn Hart is the creator of the highly acclaimed Henrie O,Death on Demand, and Bailey Ruth Raeburn series. Her books have won multiple Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity Awards. Letter from Home (2003), her standalone mystery set in Oklahoma, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Her latest book is Dead by Midnig

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