Monthly Book Club: The Lost Letter

This delayed monthly book club post brought to you by life.

Welcome to the 4th month of my blog’s Virtual Book Club and the 6th month of my real-life Book Club! I know we’ve gotten off track a bit, but bear with me as I catch you guys up. (Like always, if you didn’t catch my previous post about how it works, please click here, and then come back!)

February’s “read of the month” was The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor, a novel that travels across generations to share a story of love gained, love lost, and love found. Set in Austria at the beginning of World War 2, you are introduced to two main characters: one of the past and one of the present. Flipping between history and modern day, Kristoff, an apprentice stamp engraver, shares with readers the interesting perspective of a young Austrian man living and working with a Jewish family at the start of Austria’s Nazi invasion and the rapidly growing anti-Semitic ideals they spread throughout Europe. As the Nazis move in, Kristoff’s desire to save the girl he has fallen in love with and the family who has helped him throughout the years grows, but the ferocious attitude of the Nazis occupying the town leave him stuck between a rock and a hard place.

The Last Letter- Book Club Pick

Fast forward to the present, where Katie, a middle-aged recently separated and soon-to-be-divorced woman gathers her ailing father’s collection of stamps to bring to the stamp dealer for a valuation because she is thinking about selling it now that her father is in a nursing home. It is there the dealer discovers a unique and, what he believes to be, a one-of-a-kind stamp. Together they embark on a journey through times and across countries to discover the meaning behind this stamp.

My book club group chose a restaurant for our meeting this month, and with food and drinks flowing, we hardly ended up talking about the book. That’s what I’ve come to love about this group, though. Although we all enjoy reading, we’ve all learned a lot about each other and have quickly become friends, so our conversations end up being about how our month has been rather than too much about the book itself. It’s hard to keep us on track with our discussions!

I liked the book a lot. I thought it was a very easy ready and I enjoy this subject topic. World War 2 historical fiction books are my fave. As with most historical fiction novels I’ve found, the romances that are created that seem to fall into place and magically come together tend to become repetitive, but I’d rather have a book with a happy ending then one that leaves me annoyed or frustrated. This book was inspirational in the fact that “hope” and “love” were the two main themes throughout both storylines. It goes to show what humans can do when they have motivation and passion to change things for not only oneself, but for the greater society.

On the other hand, it was educational because it reminds you that no matter how old we get, we will always have a story and a past. I don’t know about you, but at times I find it hard to imagine the older generations I interact with on a daily basis, whether it’s my grandparent, my parents or my colleagues, were young at one point. I know this may sound awful, but it’s true. They loved, they lost, they triumphed and they failed, yet they have adapted and continued moving forward in a life that created the opportunity for me to exist. Mind blowing moment… :P

Traveling this summer? Pick up this book or download it via your Amazon Kindle app. I think it’s worth a read! Come back and tell me your thoughts after you finish.

Stay tuned for next week’s review of March’s Book Club pick: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones.