The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor is by far one of my favorite reads this year. As an avid lover of historical fiction and specifically stories set during WWI and WWII, I was incredibly interested in this book right from the start.

Cantor weaves together a story that takes place at the beginning of WWII and also during the late 80's and early 90's (during the fall of the Berlin Wall), all the while keeping you intrigued with the mystery behind a certain postage stamp and falling in love with the characters. Beautifully written, I enjoyed this story immensely. My favorite parts (as with all books that do a back and forth between time periods) were those parts that took place during WWII. The Faber family in Austria captured me, as I read more and more about the process of creating a single postage stamp design. As an art teacher, I found this part of the story really interesting, a form of art that hadn't occurred to me previous

I found it a bit harder to fall in love with Katie and her personal struggles in the "present day" sections, although I think that had more to do with my own interest in the "past" sections as I found myself reading through her parts of the story quickly so I could get back to Kristoff and the Faber family.

I enjoyed how unassuming this story was. There wasn't a lot of action or reference to WWII atrocities, other than a few mentions of things happening in the "world". So much of the story, at least the past sections, takes place at the Faber home where their own tragedies and desires are at the heart of the story. One of the things I enjoy most about historical fiction is putting myself in the lives of people living during time periods or events that were by textbook standards, simply terrible. Reading a book like Jillian Cantor's The Lost Letter reminds you that there were real people in those towns, in the villages across Europe, trying to survive and love each other.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction, a good love story that stretches across time and the world or if you are in need of a great book club selection! I think there is a lot in this story that could make for good discussion material and I am definitely keeping it in mind for a future book club pick.

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor 
316 pages
Published by Riverbed Books


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