Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor

A heart-breaking, heart-warming historical novel of love and survival inspired by real resistance workers during World War II Austria, and the mysterious love letter that connects generations of Jewish families. For readers of The Nightingale, Lilac Girls, and Sarah's Key.

Austria, 1938.
Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher's fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. As he falls for Elena amidst the brutal chaos of war, Kristoff must find a way to save her, and himself.

Los Angeles, 1989.
Katie Nelson is going through a divorce and while cleaning out her house and life in the aftermath, she comes across the stamp collection of her father, who recently went into a nursing home. When an appraiser, Benjamin, discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter as he goes through her dad's collection, Katie and Benjamin are sent on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just fallen Berlin Wall.

A beautiful, poignant and devastating novel, The Lost Letter shows the lasting power of love.


About The Author

Jillian Cantor has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from The University of Arizona. She is the author of award-winning novels for teens and adults including the critically acclaimed MARGOT, which was a Library Reads pick for September 2013 and also featured in O the Oprah Magazine, People, Ladies Home Journal, and Time.com. Her most recent book for teens, SEARCHING FOR SKY, (Bloomsbury US & UK, Scholastic book club) was nominated for the 2015 Carnegie Medal in the UK. Jillian's next historical novel for adults, THE LOST LETTER, will be out 06/13/17 from Riverhead/Penguin. Born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia, Jillian currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.


My Review

I loved this book, was a reminder of the happenings in Austria during 1938, and the loved ones you never see again, here one moment and gone forever the next. The story flips between 1989 and 1938, and the story revolves around a talented stamp engraver and his apprentice, and of course his family.
While the story is fictional, you find yourself fully absorbed in this story, and throughout all we want answers, all the while knowing over eleven million Jewish people were killed in the terror that spread through Europe in the late 1930’s.
The story does revolve around a letter with a stamp on it that all the philatelist have not ever seen and that stamp that is attached to a letter was never mailed, and was found in Katie Nelson Dad’s collection, unfortunately he has the dreaded Alzheimer’s, and can’t tell her much.
When you feel that you are at the darkest times in your life, at Katie did, a door has opened and she is about to embark on a life changing journey, and all because of an unusual Austrian stamp. While we should never forget the horrible time in history, a stamp shows the perseverance of the survivors, a book that you don’t want to miss, I’m glad I turned that first page.
I received this book through Edelweiss Above The Tree Line and the Publisher Riverhead Books, and was not required to give a positive review.  

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