Thursday 23 April 2020

Letters From The Past by Erica James @TheEricaJames BLOG TOUR @orionbooks #RandomThingsTours #GuestReview @jaustenrulesok

It's the autumn of 1962 in the idyllic Suffolk village of Melstead St Mary. Evelyn Devereux's husband Kit is planning their 20th wedding anniversary party. But as they prepare to celebrate, Evelyn receives an anonymous letter that threatens to unravel the secrets she's kept hidden for many years - secrets that reach back to the war and her days at Bletchley Park.
Evelyn's sister-in-law, Hope, has brought joy to countless children with her bestselling books, but despite having a loving husband and caring family, happiness has never come easily to her. Then in an instant her fragile world is turned upside down when she too receives an anonymous letter.
Across the village, up at Melstead Hall, Julia Devereux has married into a life beyond anything she could have dreamt of, not realising until it's too late that it comes with a heavy price.
Meanwhile, in the sun-baked desert of Palm Springs, Romily Devereux-Temple, crime-writer and former ATA pilot, is homesick for her beloved Island House, where she's saved the day more times than she can count. On her return home, and shocked to learn what has been going on in her absence, she finds herself reluctantly confronting a secret she's kept hidden for a very long time. Once again Romily is challenged to save the day and hold the family together. Can she do it, and maybe seize some happiness for herself at the same time?
From the gorgeous Suffolk countryside to the glamorous resort of Palm Springs, let Erica James sweep you away...

16 April 2020 by Orion.

I'm delighted to welcome guest reviewer Louise Wykes to Random Things today, she'ssharing her review of the book for the #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour.

You can find Louise on Twitter @jaustenrulesok

Louise's Review of Letters From The Past

Letters From The Past by Erica James was published by Orion on 16th April 2020. I would like to thank the publisher for sending me a copy of this book to review and I’d also like to thank Anne Cater for agreeing to host my review on her blog. 
I have to confess that I have not read an Erica James book before. I remember seeing an aunt of mine read one of Erica’s books when I was about 12 and thinking the lovely bright cover was a promise of a book I could read when I was grown up enough! I do know that Erica’s books are usually thought to be easy going and uplifting stories and that combined with the title which seemed to convey a book that was going to be about the wonderful evocativeness of an old- fashioned handwritten letter. 
I really enjoy reading historical fiction, especially dual time-line books that illustrate how what has happened in the past can have echoes that resonate into the present. This book travels between events in the Second World War including those at Bletchley Park and later events in 1962. The action takes place in the wonderfully visualised small Suffolk village (with an occasional visit to Palm Springs in America) with beautiful houses as the setting of most of the action. It follows the complicated and inter-connected lives of various families who all have connection with a place called Island House. 
I didn’t realise until I had finished the book that this is actually a sequel to a previous book called Coming Home to Island House. Usually I prefer to read books in order and I think it may be why I found that a lot of the book contained a large amount of back story to let the reader know what had happened previously and I felt that this slowed down a lot of the action of the story as there had to be so much explanation. 
This was a charming read although for me personally as a reader, I felt that the pace of the story was too slow. This may be because a lot of my usual reading is crime, which is usually a faster paced read although I did enjoy the added element of the mystery of whom wrote the poison pen letters which generated a lot of action within the plot. I thought the visual descriptions of setting were detailed and interesting, but I felt that a lot of the book relied too much on telling the reader rather than showing the reader which for me would have been preferable.

With an insatiable appetite for other people's business, Erica James will readily strike up conversation with strangers in the hope of unearthing a useful gem for her writing. She finds it the best way to write authentic characters for her novels, although her two grown-up sons claim they will never recover from a childhood spent in a perpetual state of embarrassment at their mother's compulsion.

The author of many bestselling novels, including GARDENS OF DELIGHT, which won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and her recent Sunday Times top ten bestsellers, SUMMER AT THE LAKE and THE DANDELION YEARS, Erica now divides her time between Suffolk and Lake Como in Italy, where she strikes up conversation with unsuspecting Italians.

Twitter @TheEricaJames
Author Page on Facebook
Instagram @the_ericajames

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