In the spring of 1912 an American college student is recovering in a hospital bed after he was injured during a dormitory prank gone wrong. A friend gives him a small volume of poetry and on a whim he sends the author (Elspeth)a fan letter. Within a month the lady poet writes him a letter describing the excitement his letter generated in the small post office near her croft on the Island of Skye in Scotland. Her first fan letter . They correspond back and forth as they share their dreams and disappointments until one day he reveals his plans to visit the U.K. and he asks her to meet him. There are problems; she has never left her island (she has a crippling fear of water), and she is a married woman. This narrative continues throughout WWl.
The novel has a second narrative which begins in 1940 as Elspeth’s daughter Margaret has fallen for a R.A.F. pilot. Margaret is confused over Elspeth’s reluctance to see her daughter marry during war-time.
This entire novel is told through letters and it is not surprising that it is constantly being compared to “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” by Mary Anne Schaffer. My library website offers space for people to comment on books that they have read and EVERYONE made that comparison with this novel. I recently read that the epistolary narrative was extremely popular in the 18th century and then its popularity declined. Perhaps it is coming back.
The title kind of gives it away but the main character was born and raised on a remote area of Skye. We see a little of the Island life –her father and brothers are fishermen and she discusses the beauty of her island and the work involved in a croft but I would say that this novel is not centered on island life BUT it still gets to be in my Scottish Island series!!!
I enjoyed this book and found it quick to read.