The Lost Letter
THE LOST LETTER is another World War II novel, and while I swore I wouldn’t read even one more of those, my sister liked it a lot, and I trust her judgment. Given that the story alternates between 1939 Austria and 1989 California, at least there are regular intervals of respite from the Nazis and their attempted purge of the Jews.
The premise is simple: The daughter of an aging philatelist finds a letter in his collection with a mysterious stamp and determines to figure out how it came to be. Since her father’s mind is too gone to be of much help, she joins with a young stamp collector. Their travels take them from California to Wales to Austria and back home. This, interspersed with the 1939 segments, lends plenty of movement to the plot.
I enjoyed this book. It shows yet another way the opponents of the Third Reich defied Hitler, and goes into the emotions of the characters involved, both in 1939 and 1989, enough to satisfy my need. I listened to every word, riveted right up to the end.
My only criticism, perhaps, is the dialogue. It had a very basic feel to it, that cut into the depth of the story – though I wonder whether my problem was with the narrators. Soon into the listening, I recognized the male voice as the one who had read A MAN CALLED OVE, and while his clipped, simplistic style worked for Ove, who was a clipped, simplistic man, it didn’t work for the younger and more emotional Christophe in this story. The female voice was new to me. It was one of those voices that has an audible smile, and while that worked with several of the secondary female characters, it didn’t work with the main one. At least, not for me.
That said, I do recommend this book – especially in print form!