Sunday 3 May 2015

The Letter - Kathryn Hughes

This is a story of two women living in Manchester decades apart but both with heart wrenching stories.

Chrissie meets Billy in 1939 and just as war breaks out, she finds out that she is pregnant.  Billy reacts badly to the news and decides to write Chrissie a letter.  Before Chrissie receives the letter she is packed off to Ireland by her strict parents.

Tina is married to Rick and is a volunteer at a charity shop in 1973.  Rick is an alcoholic and Tina is a victim of domestic violence.  Tina finds Billy's letter in a donated suit and she sets out to find Chrissie to deliver the letter.

Part Two of the book focuses on William, Chrissie's son, who was born in a convent in Ireland and adopted by an American couple.  William has travelled to Ireland and then Manchester to find his birth mother and joins forces with Tina when he finds her searching for Chrissie to deliver the letter from his father.

The story of Rick and Tina is disturbing at times due to the depths of the abuse and violence and the story of Billy and Chrissie is heartbreaking as Chrissie is ultimately forced to give up her son.  I was close to shedding a tear on more than one occasion and I would recommend that you read this book with a few tissues by your side.  Kathryn Hughes really brought the characters to life and gave a voice to the story of thousands of women who have given up their babies in convents across Ireland.

I received this e-book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Buy it from The Book Depository

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