Liz Trenow comes to the blog with a story of love lost and found that starts with a single impulsive journey in
Our Last Letter
Vikram Mackensie is half Indian, half Scottish and utterly brilliant in maths and sciences, but less so with people. Feeling more than a bit adrift after his wife of 20 years has passed, the newspaper reveals a story that a friend and boss of his during the war had passed, and he’s gripped by a sudden desire to ‘return’ to where everything began to pay his respects, and perhaps find the woman from the little Suffolk seaside village that he mislaid some 30 years back.
Kathleen Motts has always thought that she was meant for ‘more’, even if she’d allowed herself to be distracted by a boy and then later the changes at Bawdsey Manor just a ferry-ride away from the center of town. With the war looming, and secrets coming at her left and right, she’s soon helping her mother at the Manor as a kitchen assistant – where she meets and unusual and rather shy Vik.
Oh this story was lovely: from their war work separating them by miles and for weeks to their own missteps and miscues as both are ‘novices’ at the romance game: we get to know Vik and his struggles, Kath and hers – and get a peek inside the very important use of Vik’s brain in developing a system to identify and track airplanes using simple radio waves. But the story really isn’t in the connection of Vik’s invention to both provide Kath work and save many UK and US pilots (and targets for German bombs) during the war – but a story of the two finding one another, love and ultimately losing one another for many years. And the pure fate, or coincidence, that shows these two, who we’ve come to appreciate and cheer for, never really forgot each other and the “what if”. A lovely story that unfolds in two perspectives, full of the struggles and losses in a life (or two), particularly during wartime or separations, and the simple persistence due to a ‘mistake’ that brought them both back together once again. Each book that I’ve read from Liz Trenow brings complex characters, history and emotion to the forefront – and this is no exception.
Title: Our Last Letter
Author: Liz Trenow
Genre: British, Contemporary Elements, Dual Narration, Family Saga, Friendship, Historic Elements, Historical Fiction, Multi-Cultural, Romantic Elements, Second Chance, Setting: Britain, Small Town, World War II
Published by: Bookouture
Published on: 21 February, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble
I’m getting desperate not hearing from you. Your letters are a lifeline and there is something I need to tell you. Please write, please, please.
Kathleen Motts, with her flame-red curls and gift for geometry, grew up just across the water from the secretive RAF base, Bawdsey Manor, on the bleak and beautiful east coast. When the stars overhead turn red as warplanes surge towards her home, Kath is desperate to do her bit, enlisting as one of the first female radar operators, helping to keep the brave pilots safe in troubled skies.
Vikram Mackensie is quiet, exceptional at maths and music, and always the outsider. When he’s recruited for a top-secret war project at Bawdsey Manor, Vic’s chance to belong has arrived at last. He may only be half-British, but he vows to help the country he loves.
From their first meeting on windy cliffs above a rocky beach, Kath arrives like a blaze of warmth into Vic’s grey life and turns the colour back on. As the war intensifies, so do Kath and Vic’s feelings for each other. They may have grown up on different sides of the world – but if the war can’t keep them apart, nothing will.
But fate intervenes when Vic is posted to America, and Kath is left heartbroken and alone. As the silence between them grows, so does the secret that Kath is holding… As the sky falls around Kath, will she ever have more than one last letter?
A heartbreaking and gripping novel, Our Last Letter shows that even in humanity’s darkest moments, light and love will find a way.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.