Author: Genevieve Graham
Published by: Simon & Schuster Canada on Apr. 27, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: Simon & Schuster Canada
Book Rating: 10/10
Inspired by a little-known chapter of World War II history, a young Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour are caught up in the terrible wave of hate sweeping the globe on the eve of war in this powerful love story that’s perfect for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
If you’re reading this letter, that means I’m dead. I had obviously hoped to see you again, to explain in person, but fate had other plans.
At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah’s handsome older brother, Max.
But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler’s hateful ideas cross the sea and “Swastika Clubs” and “No Jews Allowed” signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families.
Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right?
From the desperate streets of Toronto to the embattled shores of Hong Kong, Letters Across the Sea is a poignant novel about the enduring power of love to cross dangerous divides even in the darkest of times—from the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child.
Powerful, immersive, and unforgettable!
Letters Across the Sea is a pensive, enlightening tale that sweeps you away to Toronto during the 1930s and into the lives of the Irish Ryan family and the Jewish Dreyfus family as they navigate relationships strained by the Great Depression, religious differences, hatred, loss, misunderstandings, forbidden love, tragedy, and the sacrifices and inherent consequences of war.
The prose is evocative and rich. The characters are genuine, kindhearted, and courageous. And the plot, including all the subplots, unravel and intertwine seamlessly into an alluring tale of life, loss, love, family, devastation, hardship, hope, friendship, self-discovery, and ultimately survival.
When it comes to novels involving Canadian history, nobody writes stories like Genevieve Graham. She takes little known or forgotten historical facts, infuses them with humanity, and then edges them all with a love story that is hard to put down, and Letters Across the Sea is no exception. It’s beautifully written, exceptionally memorable, and in parts devastatingly heart-wrenching, and in case it wasn’t obvious already, I absolutely loved it.
This novel is available now.
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada & Genevieve Graham for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.