Letters from the Past – Erica James
Publication Date: April 16, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
It’s the autumn of 1962 in the idyllic Suffolk village of Melstead St Mary. Evelyn Devereux’s husband Kit is planning their 20th wedding anniversary party. But as they prepare to celebrate, Evelyn receives an anonymous letter that threatens to unravel the secrets she’s kept hidden for many years – secrets that reach back to the war and her days at Bletchley Park.
Evelyn’s sister-in-law, Hope, has brought joy to countless children with her bestselling books, but despite having a loving husband and caring family, happiness has never come easily to her. Then in an instant her fragile world is turned upside down when she too receives an anonymous letter.
Across the village, up in Melstead Hall, Julia Devereux has married into a life beyond anything that she could have dreamt of, not realising until it’s too late that it comes with a heavy price.
Meanwhile, in the sun-baked desert of Palm Springs, Romily Devereux-Temple, crime-writer and former ATA pilot, is homesick for her beloved Island House, where she’s saved the day more times than she can count. On her return she finds that along with Evelyn, Hope and Julia, she’s confronted with a letter threatening to reveal secrets from the past. Once again Romily is challenged to save the day and hold the family together. Can she do it, and maybe seize some happiness for herself at the same time?
I am thrilled to be starting off the blog tour for Letters from the Past by Erica James. I would like to thank Anne from Random Things Tours for organising this blog tour, and Orion Publishing for providing me with an advance copy in exchange for a review. The blog tour is running until April 24th; if you would like to check out the other stops then please check out the tour poster at the end of this post.
Letters from the Past by Erica James is the sequel to Coming Home to Island House. While it can be read as a stand alone novel, I would recommend reading Coming Home to Island House first. I read Letters from the Past as a stand alone, and I do feel that I would have benefited from some of the backstory regarding the various characters in the first book. There is an extensive cast of characters in this book, each of whom is introduced fairly quickly, so I did feel a bit like I was thrown into the deep end to start out with. However, knowing Erica James’ work, I knew that it would be worth it to get to know each of these characters, and fortunately my instincts were correct. James is a wonderful storyteller, and I believe Letters from the Past will be another bestseller.
“Love, and making others happy, is all that counts if you ask me.” – Erica James, Letters from the Past
The extensive cast of characters is actually a strength of this novel, once you take the time to make a mental note of who they all are. I am truly in awe of how the author developed this many characters, all with distinctive personalities and quirks, extensive backstories, and differing plot lines. The Devereux family is extensive, to say the least, and at the centre of it all is the matriarch Romily. Romily is who everyone goes to when they need help, no matter big or small. When a number of female members of the Devereux family start to receive poison pen letters from an anonymous source, Romily takes it upon herself to find out who is behind this. Little do they all know, Romily has a secret herself – one that she has kept quiet since the 1940s.
“Seeing you again… is like the sun bursting through the clouds after many weeks of rain.” – Erica James, Letters from the Past
I’m not sure that I have ever read a book with more intrigue and drama than Letters from the Past. Everyone in this book seems to have at least one significant secret, some of which are more devastating than others. I was swept up by the drama and secrecy, and was not at all disappointed by how things turned out. If you enjoy immersive family dramas, then you will love Letters from the Past by Erica James. Although out of order, I cannot wait to read the first book in this series, because I cannot get enough of these characters. Letters from the Past is another wonderful bestseller by Erica James that will sweep you up in the drama of the extensive Devereux family.
Erica James is the number one international bestselling author of twenty-one novels, including the Sunday Times top ten bestsellers Summer at the Lake, The Dandelion Years, and Song of the Skylark. She has sold over five million books worldwide and her work has been translated into thirteen languages.
Erica won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award for her novel Gardens of Delight, set in beautiful Lake Como, Italy, which has become a second home to her. Her authentic characters are thanks to her fondness for striking up conversation with complete strangers.