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The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant: A…
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The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant: A Novel (original 2020; edição 2020)

por Kayte Nunn (Autor)

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8212254,711 (3.89)5
"1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther's prison but soon surprisingly becomes her refuge. 2018. Free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker embarks on a research posting in the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast. When a violent storm forces her to take shelter on a far-flung island, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel determines to track down the intended recipient. But she has no idea of the far-reaching consequences her decision will bring. Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother, a renowned mountaineer, write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years" --… (mais)
Membro:Micheller7
Título:The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant: A Novel
Autores:Kayte Nunn (Autor)
Informação:William Morrow Paperbacks (2020), 400 pages
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The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant: A Novel por Kayte Nunn (2020)

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In 1951 a woman's husband commits her to a mental asylum in one of the Scilly Isles. She becomes attracted to the doctor. In 2018 a marine scientist discovers letters addressed to Esther Durrant from "R." when she becomes marooned on the island. She becomes determined to reunite them to the parties. While a lot more happens in the novel, this summarizes the main story line. The remainder involves the life of the marine biologist, the female patient and her granddaughter, and the other patients and staff of the asylum, including a tragic moment. I'm not a fan of the alternating time periods that seem to be all the rage at the moment, and this one had moments it worked better than at others. ( )
  thornton37814 | May 2, 2021 |
“’Ex tenebris lux’, she read, running her fingers over the words. From the darkness into the light.” (Quotation page 356)

Content
When John Durrant takes his wife Esther on holiday in November 1951, she has to leave her son Teddy behind with his nanny and wonders, why they are visiting Cornwall and the rough, far away Isles of Scilly at this time of the year. At Embers Island, they meet Dr. Richard Creswell, an old friend of John, a psychiatrist with modern ideas about curing mental illnesses. But they did not come just for a visit; John leaves Esther in custody at the asylum, hoping that she might recover from her severe depression.
In spring 2018, her new research contract takes Rachel Parker, a thirty-five years old Australian research scientist, specialized on giant clams, from the South Pacific to the Scilly Isles, to study a special clam, Venus verrucosa. When she comes into a wild, raging storm, she is saved by Leah, an artist who lives at Little Embers. In an old suitcase, Rachel discovers six envelopes with touching love letters, all stamped but unsent, and with a name and address on it. She just wants to know, could she still find the recipient?

Theme and genre
This novel, settled in the wild, beautiful nature surroundings of the Scilly Isles, is about traumas, traditional mental asylums, fate, family, but most of all it is about love.

Characters
We meet three very different women, Esther, Leah and Rachel, each one special and strong in her own way. Also the other characters are very well developed, realistic, believable and likeable.

Plot and writing
The plot is told in two different alternating storylines, the first is about Esther’s life from November 1951 to spring 1952, the second story takes place in spring 2018. Memories that Esther shares with her granddaughter Eve, as they prepare Esther’s biography together, fill in about the years between. Impressing, vivid descriptions of the beautiful, outstanding nature complete the exciting storyline.

Conclusion
Romance, love and a gripping story, the outstanding surroundings and stunning seascapes of the Isles of Scilly, together with serious topics to think about and reflect, make this novel an interesting, impressive, uplifting, enjoyable read. ( )
  Circlestonesbooks | Feb 3, 2021 |
I really liked this book. The setting on a remote island off the Cornish Coast, some lost letters, a woman committed to a mental asylum by her husband. There were 3 settings actually and Kayte Nunn did and excellent job of pulling me into the story, characters and time period. ( )
  EllenH | Jul 26, 2020 |
It is crazy to me to think that only a few decades ago, husbands were allowed to commit their wives for mental issues. This is the story of Esther Durrant, who leaves home with her husband thinking they’re going on vacation only to find that he is leaving her at a private and isolated treatment facility for mental issues because he thinks she needs it.

1951: Esther Durrant is left at a small facility with a few other gentleman residents. These are men that have served in the military and have issues that require treatment related to their service. The men and the doctor there are kind to her, but she still is angry at her husband for deceiving her. She is left there for a pre-determined time and it is left to the discretion of the doctor as to whether or not her treatment has been successful. If so, she will be allowed to return home. Esther misses her young son terribly but at the same time, she grows to enjoy life on the isolated island where the treatment facility is located. She befriends the other residents and the doctor

2018: Eve has put her life on hold in order to take care of her grandmother, who was injured after a fall. Her grandmother has had an adventurous life and Eve is helping her write a memoir. Rachel is a marine scientist who is working on a research assignment. When she ends up crashing her boat on a small, isolated island, she finds some wonderful love letters that were written back in the 1950’s, but it looks like they were never mailed. Rachel wants to use her investigative skills to track down the intended recipient of the letters.

The three POV’s blend together well and I felt invested in the story and how things would end. I was surprised to find out who wrote the love letters and I was curious about what Rachel would uncover when she began her search for the people connected to the letter. I enjoyed all three POV’s, but I have to say that I was most captivated by Esther’s story. I connected to her feelings about motherhood and the child she was separated from, and I also felt her anger and confusion at her husband for leaving her in that place like he did. I also felt deeply for the other residents, and their stories resonated with me. It’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the story that Eve and Rachel told, but I really felt swept away by the story that took place during Esther’s time on the island during the 1950’s.

I think that people that enjoy dual-timeline historical fiction stories will enjoy this one. There is a little bit of mystery involving the letters, which was fun for me, and there is also a little bit of romance.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Thank you, William Morrow Books! ( )
  Asheley | Apr 14, 2020 |
Bittersweet. Desperate times call for desperate measures and yes I read a book that has a great deal of love, lost and found. Loved it! Perfect book for me right now . A house on an island whose doctors treated those unable to cope after the war. Esther, is there for a different reason, one of great loss. Two timelines, the current features a young researcher, Rachel, who never stays in one place for more than a few years. Leah, a recluse, with sorrows of her own. Letters found, love books that contain letters, and curiosity is sparked. The search is on and the story, love behind it is beautiful.

Wonderful characters, loved them all, the bad guy being the situation, rather than a person. All characters wounded in one way or another. The descriptive passages of the island are absolutely gorgeous, would love to live there myself. A very heartfelt story, one I will cherish.

" Time is not kind to any of us. But it allows us still to breathe, to see, to feel. To be alive,"he replied."

Wise words, then and now.

ARC from Edelweiss. ( )
  Beamis12 | Mar 17, 2020 |
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"1951. Esther Durrant, a young mother, is committed to an isolated mental asylum by her husband. Run by a pioneering psychiatrist, the hospital is at first Esther's prison but soon surprisingly becomes her refuge. 2018. Free-spirited marine scientist Rachel Parker embarks on a research posting in the Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast. When a violent storm forces her to take shelter on a far-flung island, she discovers a collection of hidden love letters. Captivated by their passion and tenderness, Rachel determines to track down the intended recipient. But she has no idea of the far-reaching consequences her decision will bring. Meanwhile, in London, Eve is helping her grandmother, a renowned mountaineer, write her memoirs. When she is contacted by Rachel, it sets in motion a chain of events that threatens to reveal secrets kept buried for more than sixty years" --

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