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Summary

Inspired by an incredible true story, this is an unforgettable novel about love, loss and one impossible choice.... 

London, 1940.

When nurse Elsie offers to send a reassuring letter to the family of a patient, she has an idea. She begins a book of last letters: messages to be sent on to wounded soldiers’ loved ones should the very worst come to pass so that no one is left without a final goodbye.

But one message will change Elsie’s life forever. When a patient makes a devastating request, can Elsie find the strength to do the unthinkable?

London, present day.

Stephanie has a lot of people she’d like to speak to: her estranged brother, to whom her last words were in anger; her nan, whose dementia means she is only occasionally lucid enough to talk.

When she discovers a book of wartime letters, Stephanie realises the importance of our final words - and uncovers the story of a secret love, a desperate choice, and the unimaginable courage of the woman behind it all....

A moving and compelling historical novel from the author of The Girl in the Picture, perfect for fans of The Nightingale and The Keeper of Happy Endings

©2022 Kerry Barrett (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Heart-breaking but so uplifting - Kerry really is a hugely talented voice." (Nicola Cornick, author of The Forgotten Sister)

What listeners say about The Book of Last Letters

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Profile Image for Patricia Coates
  • Patricia Coates
  • 12-04-22

A historical fiction goodie

I loved the story and how the two time periods took shape. As a nurse, I know that we deal with difficult decisions and I don't know if I could have made the decision she did for her friend Nellie.

A great read (listen) 😁

1 person found this helpful

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  • Michelle Price Blount
  • 10-07-22

Smashing good listen

Loved the story especially how they bounce back and forth from the Present year to the past telling the story of Elsie.

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Profile Image for Mainerd Sorensen
  • Mainerd Sorensen
  • 04-06-22

Lovely & spell-binding

This is a lovely, exquisitely intertwined twin tales that includes history, English culture, mystery, and charming romance. We listened to the book whilst traveling and "twas an excellent diversion

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Profile Image for Julie
  • Julie
  • 07-05-22

Eh. Not terrible but not great

Overall a decent storyline. Predictable but okay. The narrator read it as though she was reading it to a child who didn’t speak English. It was kinda annoying and took from the story (which wasn’t strong to begin with)

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 24-04-22

Couldn’t put it down…

The narration was excellent and the story had me hooked. Listening while I did other things, I finished it in two days. It’s one of those that stays with you, as if you have something you’re forgetting to do or tell a friend.
I can’t say much without giving too many things away, but it really has it all. I loved the mystery of it. Would love to know what story inspired this book.
Highly recommend!

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  • carrie cox
  • 15-04-22

Last Letters

I liked the story, my problem was with the reader doing Stevie”s voice. It sounded too old and it took my away from how young she was supposed to be. It took me to well into the story to figure out she wasn’t a 50 yr old woman.

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  • Martha G.
  • 15-04-22

The Book of Last Letters

Very predictable story. I enjoyed the narration more than the story. Not a bad story l just knew what was going to happen next.