Book Reviews

The Girl in the Letter: The most gripping, heartwrenching page-turner of the year by Emily Gunnis

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List Price: £0.99


Kindle Edition: 384 Pages.

Published: 01 August 2018 by Review



When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret's, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave. Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret's. Before it is too late. Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret's set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever...


3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Didn't Like the Main Character

Sam Harper reads a letter detailing a young pregnant mother's life in a Mother/Baby home in the 1960s. Run by Nuns the letter describes the appalling conditions. This starts Sam on the trail of a story to discover what happened to the author, Ivy, and the other residents of the home.

There are several books with a similar content around at the moment. The unveiling of these appalling mother & baby homes in the press has lead to a flurry of fiction books which highlight what went on. Unlike many of the other books this is set around the Brighton area and not in Ireland. I didn't feel that this was the best book of this style that I have read.

There are two main problems for me with this book. The first is the way that it jumps around. To begin with we have two main threads - Sam Harper in the present day & Ivy, the writer of the letter. However, as the book pregresses many more people are included and we get frequent flash backs to tell of their past. Although I understand the need to tell the back story, I found that the way the author chose to do it left the text rather disjointed and the story failed to run as smoothly as it should.

The other major problem was the main character, Sam Harper. I didn't like her. As a reader I think I was supposed to feel sorry for her - working single Mum trying to make a career and better their life. I could see that but unfortunately my overriding feeling was that Sam Harper was a user. A man at work, Fred, is rather smitten with her but Sam seems to do nothing but ask him to "cover" for her as she races off to follow this story. Sam & her daughter are living with her Nana who seems to be constantly rearranging her life to care for Sam's child at little or no notice. Sam's estranged husband also has Emma "dumped" on him at little notice even when he was supposed to be having job interviews. Poor Emma - even when she was ill her Mother went out & chased a story in the middle of the night. It is all very well chasing a story and feeling the need to tell the world but I felt she needed to be there for Emma as well. I wanted to give her a "piece of my mind". Consequently I was rather distracted from the story the book was trying to tell & couldn't get "into" it.

It is a shame that I struggled with the character. The book certainly had some potential but it is hard to focus on the story when the main character is someone I don't like or care about.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

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