Book Review: The Letter by Kathryn Hughes

by - August 08, 2017


Published: 
8 October 2015
Headline Review


About the book:

The Letter follows the life of Tina in the 1970s who seeks respite from her abusive marriage by volunteering at a charity shop. One day, while sorting through the pockets of a second-hand suit, she comes across an old letter. It is still firmly sealed and un-franked. Unable to resist the pull of curiosity, Tina opens the letter. It was written on 4th September 1939. She is so moved by the contents and bemused as to why the letter was never delivered, she embarks on a quest to find out what became of the writer and his intended recipient.

The mystery of how this love letter ended up in Tina’s hands is also uncovered through Billy’s story from the early 1940s. He writes a letter that will change his life forever, unaware that it will not be read for another 34 years, and then by a complete stranger.


My thoughts:

The Letter is one of those books that stays with you long after you finish reading it. From the moment you become submerged in the lives of Tina and Billy it is hard to leave. 

Tina is caught up in an abusive relationship with a man she loves with all her heart, so much so that she continues to forgive him and give him second chances. When things get really bad, Tina finds escape after finding a letter in the pocket of a suit and going in search for the person who wrote it. This interlocks the story of Tina and Billy, as Tina uncovers the heartbreaking story that tore Billy away from the love of his life. 

The Letter is really beautifully written. Kathryn Hughes has created really strong characters who you feel you really get to know through their stories. You feel like you're really there with them, living their lives with them.

This story is laced with a lot of pain and heartache and there are moments where my heart was completely wrenched. I'll warn you that if you're the type to cry at an emotional story, this one will definitely have you reaching for the tissues! 

I give The Letter;


Get your hands on a copy:



If you've already read The Letter, or once you have clicked on one of the links above and indulged in the beautiful work of Kathryn Hughes, drop me a comment below and let me know what you thought of it!

Chat soon beautifuls,



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