Book: The Girl in the Letter
Author: Emily Gunnis
A sad and tragic story based on real life events, The Girl in the Letter by Emily Gunnis should have been a gripping and emotional read from beginning to end, but unfortunately it didn’t live up to my expectations.
A mishmash of plot lines and undeveloped characters made for a very slow and uninteresting read about a subject that is a well-known historical fact.
The author appears to have done little to no research, and if she did, then it wasn’t articulated well through her narrative.
Though it is not a true story, it is a historical work of fiction, based on true events that occurred in British and Irish institutions that housed young unwed mothers in the 50s.
Some were pleasant places, however, the institution at the centre of this story was not, and Gunnis has attempted to construct a suspenseful story that flicks between the past and present.
There were far too many characters to keep track of and any one or two of the plot lines would have made room for further investment in the story.
This really took
away from my ability to be immersed in the story and experience the amount of emotion I feel it should have evoked.
Complicated narrative aside, it is an utterly tragic story that sheds light on the events of the time, while offering a mystery that is gradually
uncovered by the main protagonist Samantha Harper.
The mystery surrounds Ivy Jenkins, who got pregnant and was sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s – a dark brooding house for unwed mothers.
By the time Samantha, who is a journalist, comes to learn of what had taken place at St Margaret’s, it has been marked for demolition and she must work against the clock to uncover the secrets before they are gone forever.
The Girl in the Letter could have been infinitely better, so I wouldn’t be quick to recommend it.
If you are curious to take a look at the book, it can be found on all major e-book sites including www.amazon.com and www.kobo.com