LoveReading

Becoming a member of the LoveReading community is free.

No catches, no fine print just unadulterated book loving, with your favourite books saved to your own digital bookshelf.

New members get entered into our monthly draw to win £100 to spend in your local bookshop Plus lots lots more…

Find out more

The Letter

by Barry Cole

Historical fiction Family Drama

LoveReading Expert Review of The Letter

A heart-breaking tale of family and loss, set against the backdrop of a WWII and a war torn Germany. The author’s knowledge of the war shines through in this novel, from the horrifying details of the frontline as experienced by Franz, to the heart-aching wait for families left behind hoping to see their loved ones again. 

‘The Letter’ by Barry Cole follows Franz Mayer, a sergeant in the German army struggling to survive on the Eastern Front and on the way home to his family before braving the threat of war once more. Throughout the novel there’s great characterisation, even for the characters we meet for a brief time, the author makes sure they are rounded out. It’s subtle enough to not detract from the plot, but clear enough to hammer home that despite the broad descriptions of war - the country vs country commentary - the reality involves countless unique and complex individuals. This style of writing made ‘The Letter’ feel even more poignant and emotive to me. Combined with the detailed descriptions of the horrors witnessed and the poverty endured, ‘The Letter’ is a powerful story, that emphasises the loss and pain experienced on all sides. There are moments of hope scattered throughout, and I found Wolfgang in particular helped to bring some levity to the story during the times we spend with Hannah.  

This was a fascinating historical war drama. There’s twists and changes that keep you turning the pages, hoping for a positive outcome, but never certain. I think that the author has succeeded in delivering an emotional and immersive story. ‘The Letter’ is a compelling and brilliant look at loss, at family and at the personal costs of war.

Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador

LoveReading Ambassador

The Letter Synopsis

Safe from the horrors of war a German soldier makes the ultimate sacrifice

Having survived the hell of Stalingrad and two years of bitter fighting on the Eastern Front, Sergeant Franz Mayer found he was now a deserter. Not by choice, it had to be said but a reality nevertheless. Faced with the prospect of an SS firing squad, convinced that the war was in its final death throes his only hope lay in returning home.

If fate had condemned him it now came to his rescue and aided by an elderly couple who had lost their only son in the war, he was able to return to his family. But fate hadn’t finished with him just yet.

It was purely by chance that the convoy of lorries’ passed through the village but it changed everything. Plagued by his conscience after what he had witnessed, Franz knew there was only one thing left to do. He must return to the war. But before leaving he wrote a letter to the old couple who had saved his life, asking his wife to post it should he not return. A letter that would unwittingly unite the two families and give them the strength to face the hardships which lay ahead in their war-ravaged country.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781800941236
Publication date: 22nd February 2021
Author: Barry Cole
Publisher: Michael Terence Publishing
Format: Paperback
Primary Genre Historical fiction
Other Genres:
Recommendations:
Win a Signed Hardback Copy The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper!

Win a Signed Hardback Copy The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper!

Closing date: 30/06/2021

The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper is "An entertaining firecracker blazing with wolfish verve and a woman’s desire to escape the Pompeii brothel she’s enslaved to." Joanne Owen, Expert Reviewer To celebrate it's release we're working with Head of Zeus to offer 5 signed hardback copies of The Wolf Den. This draw is open only for UK residents currently in the UK and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. The draw closes on 30th June 2021. Please ensure that the details you use to enter the competition will be correct at the time the competition ends. The winners will be notified as soon as possible.

Enter Now

Like For Like Featured Books

Clouds of Love and War
In A Town Called Paradox
The Tea Planter's Wife
Quartet for the End of Time

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781800941236
Publication date: 22/02/2021
Format: Paperback

View All Editions

More Books By Barry Cole

The Letter
The Letter
The Letter
View All Books By Barry Cole

Share this book