THE LOST LETTER is definitely my favorite book byJillian Cantor, who seems a natural at her first dual-narrative novel. Taking place in 1938 Austria and in 1990s Los Angeles, this book has a little bit of everything: a mystery, a father-daughter relationship, a love story, and fascinating insight about a little-known resistance tool during WWII — the postage stamp.
I was immediately drawn in and, quite honestly, caught off guard at my emotional response. I shouldn’t have been surprised, as Katie’s father is suffering Alzheimer’s, and my father is suffering from dementia (and I am going home, soon, to see him). So Katie’s emotions each time she visits her father — and her apprehension — I could well understand. I loved that we also learned in the Author’s Note that this part of the storyline grew from Cantor’s own experience with her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s battle.
I feel authors sometimes miss the mark in connecting dual storylines, and that one story often feels stronger than the other. But in THE LOST LETTER, I was equally engaged in both, and they fit seamlessly together – i.e. it didn’t feel like one story was simply ‘thrown in’ to serve a plot point.
I also enjoyed the scenes on Coronado Island – a place I visited for the first time in recent years and fell equally in love with. I could picture the area Cantor described. But, more than that, I enjoyed the twists and turns the story took, the surprising reveals, and the unique glimpse into a WWII story that we haven’t heard. Stories of resilience, with love and family sprinkled in, will always have a spot in my heart.
Definitely looking forward to Jillian Cantor’s upcoming IN ANOTHER TIME! Fans of historical fiction will enjoy this one.
(A version of Melissa Crytzer Fry’s review of THE LOST LETTER by Jillian Cantor was published at GoodReads on October 09, 2018. It is reposted here with the permission of the reviewer.)