• Paperback: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 3, 2020)
A cache of unsent love letters from the 1950s is found in a suitcase on a remote island in this mysterious love story in the tradition of the novels by Kate Morton and Elizabeth Gilbert.
1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther’s prison but soon surprisingly becomes her refuge.
2018. Free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker embarks on a research posting in the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast. When a violent storm forces her to take shelter on a far-flung island, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel determines to track down the intended recipient. But she has no idea of the far-reaching consequences her decision will bring.
Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother, a renowned mountaineer, write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years.
With an arresting dual narrative that immediately captivates the reader, The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant is an inspirational story of the sacrifices made for love.
#theforgottenlettersofestherdurrant, @tlcbooktours, @williammorrowbooks, and @kaytenunn2.
Rachel Parker is a research scientist who has just taken a position in the Isles of Scilly to study the effects of climate change on the warty clam. Rachel has moved around a lot in life and has never bothered to form lasting friendships or relationships. When Rachel is caught in a storm passing through the Isles, she takes cover on Little Embers, inhabited by the cantankerous Leah, an artist who prefers to be alone. While on Little Embers, Rachel discovers the suitcase of a former occupant of Little Embers and some unsent love letters that she is determined to return to their rightful recipient. In 1951 Esther Durrant is unceremoniously dumped at Little Embers by her husband. Esther has survived a tragedy and still isn't quite right. Little Embers is run by Dr. Richard Creswell, a retreat for men suffering from the psychiatric effects of the War. Dr. Creswell has agreed to treat Esther as well. After fighting and trying to get back to her family, Esther comes to enjoy life on the island and the company of the people around her.
The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant feels like is was written just for me; I love the dual timeline in the story, the mysteries of an isolated island, and finding yourself before finding romance. The characters were carefully crafted and pulled me into their stories before revealing everything. Both Rachel and Esther were guarding secrets and were difficult to figure out creating complex and interesting women that I wanted to learn more about. The writing flows easily through time and from character to character making the book easy to read and always wanting to know what's next. I appreciated that the other characters on Ember Island in 1951 were also taken seriously, even at a time when psychological diagnosis were still being developed. I also loved that Esther in 2018 was also a strong character and that I was able to see how she was not defined by her tragedy. The romances were handled well for both Rachel and Esther, I'm glad that they were able to make decisions for themselves and find happiness.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
About Kayte Nunn
Kayte Nunn is a former magazine and book editor, and the international bestselling author of four novels, among them The Botanist’s Daughter and The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant. Originally from Britain, she has also lived in the USA, and now resides in Australia, in Northern New South Wales, with her family.
Find out more about Kayte at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram