Features writer Ellie Howarth lives in the modern world where she receives two-word text messages from her married lover John. Then, as she battles to save her career, she discovers a love letter from the 1960s in the archives of her newspaper. She pledges to use the letter to create a feature – to save her from getting the sack – but is profoundly changed by what she finds.
From this point on Jojo Moyes weaves a wonderful tale of forbidden love, which makes Romeo and Juliet look positively pallid. Back in the 1960s, married woman Jennifer wakes from a coma after a car accident with no memory of her previous life. But as she reacquaints herself with her home and her friends, she discovers a love letter signed by ‘B’ urging his lover to leave her husband and realises it was intended for her. After finding more letters she realises she was having an affair and sets out to discover who ‘B’ is.
Moyes kept me guessing at every step with twists and turns worthy of a thriller, but the book is effortlessly heart-warming. Despite the fact that adultery is one of the main themes I still found myself with tears in my eyes at the closing scenes. In a world of tweeting, texting and Facebook statuses, it was a treat to see love expressed in a written letter.
This is perfect autumn reading – if you want a cosy afternoon, curled up in an armchair, this is the perfect companion.