Entertainment

Book review: Letter from a Stranger

Author lives up to high expectations in book 'Letter from a Stranger'.
Author lives up to high expectations in book 'Letter from a Stranger'. Contributed

BOOK: Letter from a Stranger

AUTHOR: Barbara Taylor Bradford

PUBLISHER: HarperCollins Publishers Aust

RRP: $29.99

 

WHEN award-winning film maker Justine Nolan returns to her beautiful childhood home, she is intrigued by an envelope she finds in her absent mother's post.

The letter inside contains a shocking revelation.

If genuine it will change everything she believes about her family's recent history, her mother and her adored grandmother, Gabriele.

With the support of her beloved twin brother, Richard, Justine resolves to uncover the truth.

To do so she must travel to Istanbul - the teeming, beguiling city on the cusp of East and West.

Yet even when her quest succeeds, Justine is faced with a further mystery: Gabriele's background is not what it seems.

Justine is given a book of memories in which the real story unfolds, taking her back to the darkest days of European history, with its suffering and astonishing acts of bravery.

At the heart of it lie the final facts of Gabriele′s identity - and her own.

I have always found authors who try to weave present events with historical ones fall far short of expectations - but not Barbara Taylor Bradford.

She is a genius at weaving together Justine's present quest to find out more about her beloved grandmother and the detailed account of said grandmother's childhood.

Both are dramatic and filled with passion and it is this passionate writing style which keeps you enthralled.

It feels like you know the character and by the end you are completely invested in getting the outcome you want.

And while the novel came to the conclusion I wanted and hoped for it was anti-climactic - it felt a little forced.

Despite this it was a great novel and I would happily read it again, knowing I would get something different out of it on each subsequent reading.

Topics:  book review



Court-ordered parolees more likely to re-offend

Fence with barbed wire. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin

New research shows certain parolees more likely to re-offend

Top chefs help feed the needy

CREATIVE KITCHEN: Helpers providing the good food at Halcyon House's community dinner.

Top chefs raise money for needy: socials

From little things, big things grow

Diana Abraham, with help from Chris Watt, cutting the cake at the Meals on Wheels 30th birthday.

Meals on Wheels mark 30th anniversary on Tweed Coast

Latest deals and offers

Taylor Swift dismissed from jury duty

Taylor Swift was dismissed from jury duty in a sexual assault case

Zumbo's Willy Wonka hat trick trips up Queensland brickie

Adriano Zumbo and Rachel Khoo with Zumbo's floating dessert in a scene from Zumbo's Just Desserts.

NOOSA'S Michael Basset asked to recreate floating chocolate dish.

John Lennon's killer denied parole for 9th time

John Lennon

John Lennon's killer has been denied parole for the ninth time.

Mexican band takes aim at Trump

Disguised as unhinged narcotraficantes, the Mexican-American agitators of BRUJERIA captured the mood of the citys minorities with the bands infamous and widely banned 1993 debut, Matando Geros (Killing White People), quickly becoming the Spanish-language counterparts to early grindcore masters TERRORIZER and NAPALM DEATH.  Photo Contributed

'Satanic drug lord' band challenges Trump

Tyalgum kicks off musical season

Flutterbies' Solar Chapel and operatic soprano Jenna Dearness-Dark prepare for the Opera and Piano concert in Tyalgum on September 3.

Intimate concert awaits.

Willy Wonka star, Gene Wilder dead at 83

A still of Gene Wilder in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Social media has already lit up with tributes to the late actor.

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

REVEALED: Pat Rafter's $18m Coast house on the market

Check out the photos of the Coast's most expensive property for sale

The "correction we had to have" in Gladstone's rentals

UPWARD MARCH: The rental vacancy rate in Gladstone has improved for the first time in more than a year, providing a confidence boost in the market.

Vacancy rates improve with signs that things are getting betterF

ISLAND FOR SALE: Cheap Fraser Coast island drops price again

Suna Island in the Great Sandy Strait will be auctioned by Ray White Hervey Bay on Saturday morning.

This is the cheapest island you will find for sale in Australia

How a family home can fit on a 250sq m block

This is what you can build on 250m2.

Here's the floor plan of a home built on 250sq m

Investors eye Gladstone's $4m island with resort approval

UP FOR SALE: Turtle Island is on the market.

CHINESE and Sydney investors flag interest in Gladstone island.