Friday, 23 August 2019

Release Day Review: The Last Letter From Juliet by Melanie Hudson

The Last Letter from Juliet: An absolutely gripping and heartbreaking World War 2 historical novelThe Last Letter from Juliet: An absolutely gripping and heartbreaking World War 2 historical novel by Melanie Hudson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An emotional and bitter-sweet dual timeline novel about two women and their adventures in Angels Cove, Cornwall.

With an offer of gin, Katherine decides to accept her Uncle Gerald's invitation to spend Christmas with him in Cornwall rather than be home alone during the festive period. On arrival, all the best-laid plans go pear-shaped but she finds comfort within her surrounds; a cottage which once belonged to an old lady. Whilst settling in she finds a journal written by the once owner and begins to read about her life and escapades before and during WWII.

The residents of Angels Cove quickly embrace their new temporary resident during the run-up to Christmas as Katherine finds both purpose and comfort as she befriends and helps out the colourful characters who live within this small coastal village. Yet, it's the thrill of getting to know who Juliet was which drives her enthusiasm during what is ordinarily a difficult time of year for her.

The writing smoothly alternates between the past and the present timelines as we re-live Juliet's life as a pilot through her journals and learn about the struggles Katherine is dealing with. Finding out the exploits and bravery of the A.T.A. girls (Air Transport Auxiliary) is thrilling in its own right but I like how Katherine embraces Juliet's handling of situations to give her a new perspective on life and how she can move forward with a new sense of optimism and purpose.

Not everything within this enticing narrative is about these women, there's a dashing hero who stole Juliet's heart and an equally handsome gentleman who is Juliet's nephew. His zest for life equals his aunt's although we learn his background isn't what Katherine expected.

For me, the highlight is Katharine's realisation the woman she has come to admire is still alive and has an opportunity to meet her. It's a poignant and uplifting moment to give pause for thought and shed a few tears.

To sum up, if you enjoy uplifting novel laced with fascinating historical facts, heart-warming characters with a Christmassy Cornish backdrop, You'll love The Last Letter From Juliet.

4.5 stars

***arc generously received courtesy of the publisher One More Chapter via NetGalley***

View all my reviews

**Paperback editions publishing 14th November in AmazonUK, 7th January 2020 in Amazon US

'The Last Letter from Juliet' is a moving and powerful novel of friendship, love and resilience.

A daring WWII pilot who grew up among the clouds, Juliet Caron’s life was one of courage, adventure – and a love torn apart by war. Every nook of her Cornish cottage is alive with memories just waiting to be discovered.

Katherine Henderson has escaped to Cornwall for Christmas but she soon finds there is more to her holiday cottage than meets the eye. And on the eve of Juliet’s 100th birthday, Katherine is enlisted to make an old lady’s final Christmas wish come true…

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