Love in Times of Uncertainty
Letters Across the Sea is a heart-wrenching telling of anti-semitism in Canada during the Depression and the bravery of Canadian soldiers sent to Honk Kong during World War II.
Title: Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (April 27, 2021)
Print Lenght: 484 pages
Inspired by a little-known chapter of World War II history, a young Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour are caught up in the terrible wave of hate sweeping the globe on the eve of war in this powerful love story that’s perfect for fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
If you’re reading this letter, that means I’m dead. I had obviously hoped to see you again, to explain in person, but fate had other plans.
At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah’s handsome older brother, Max.
But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler’s hateful ideas cross the sea and “Swastika Clubs” and “No Jews Allowed” signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families.
Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right?
From the desperate streets of Toronto to the embattled shores of Hong Kong, Letters Across the Sea is a poignant novel about the enduring power of love to cross dangerous divides even in the darkest of times—from the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child.
From the Publisher’s Blurb
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Molly and Max were neighbors. Their families knew each other well. The moms cooked together, the boys played baseball, and the girls were best friends. Molly’s family was Protestant, and Max’s was Jewish.
All this changed when a wave of anti-semitism washed over an economically fragile Canada, bringing neighbors against neighbors, riots, and violence.
The book takes the reader through all the turmoil, culminating in WWII.
My heart ached from the prejudice and violence. It was inspiring to see the families reunited and their sons fighting together.
The sadness of the narrative was lightened by the sense of family, loyalty, friendship, and the beautiful love between Molly and Max.
It was interesting to learn more about Canada’s history and its less-known participation in WWII.
Letters Across the Sea is a must-read for all WWII historical fiction fans and a great resource to learn more about such a critical time in history through the perspective of the Canadians.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
Genevieve Graham is the bestselling author of Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, and Come from Away. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure.