‘The Girl in the Letter’ by Emily Gunnis
Genre: Historical Thriller/ Mystery
Published: August, 2019
Swathi’s Rating: 5 wholesome stars!!!
Hey book buddies
Today I am on the blog tour for Emily Gunnis’s debut thriller ‘The Girl In The Letter’ and I cannot recommend this book to lovers of Thriller and Historic Fiction. While it’s not entirely set in the past, Emily has done a brilliant job connecting the timelines together.
Here is the plot:
A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.
1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.
Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late.
Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost forever …
Read her letter. Remember her story …
The prologue shows us a letter from Ivy Jenkins, dated 1959 and addressed to someone named Elvira. While this letter is highly emotional and heartbreakingly sad, this is how we get to know who Ivy Jenkins was and her story as she suffered in St Margaret’s Mother and Baby Home in sussex. The era where young women were subjected to spending their most fragile days in such a dark, illtreated place is beyond imagination and very hard of a truth to digest. Ivy along with many other young women spends her prenatal and a few postnatal days in the Home as her family or her lover’s family are willing to pay the fee for her stay. So she has to work herself to layoff her debts.
Another storyline set in 2017 where Samantha Harper, a single mom/journalist of a 4 year old Emma resides with her Nana and desperately tries to create a name for herself in job in the local newspaper. When Samantha finds some old letters in her late grandfather’s desk and starts reading them, she soon discovers that St Margaret’s Home is soon to be demolished and she must find out more about the stories in the mysterious letters before it’s too late.
It’s hard to believe this is Emily Gunnis’s debut as she skillfully braids together the different timelines into one. Some of the incidents in the book are highly emotional to read, especially those Nuns and their horrible way of treating the pregnant women in the 60s. It’s more disturbing to realise that these Victorian Workhouses actually existed in various parts of the world and as a soon-to-be-mom, it scares the shit out of me! Emily has done her research and it’s clearly visible in her confident plotting and storytelling.
I am so glad that I got the opportunity to read and review this brilliant book that could be described as a historical thriller/women’s Fiction with a slight pinch of paranormal aspects. Fast paced and highly absorbing, this book has several layers to it.
Many thanks to Quercus US for having me on the Blog Tour. All opinions are mine.
Meet the Author:
Emily Gunnis previously worked in TV drama and lives in Brighton with her young family. She is one of the four daughters of Sunday Times bestselling author Penny Vincenzi.