This was an utterly perfect, hopelessly romantic read.
I’m biased, though, because I love this stuff – war-torn romance, grandiose proclamations of love, letters upon letters and words, words, words. Did the book just appeal to my sentimental nature? Or would it appeal universally, to everyone? I’m not sure so, rather than stress my reaction, I’ll just talk about the story.
Elspeth and David become acquainted when he sends fan mail to her remote island in Scotland, expressing admiration for her poetry. She writes back, honored, floored really to have received his letter and the two never stop corresponding for five years. I’m not sure how much I bought this part. I wrote my first fan letter at age 10, to Beverly Cleary, who never responded. Since then, I’ve become disenchanted by the idea of fan mail – the idea that an esteemed author would stoop to answer a letter from a reader. Although I did just write a Facebook message to Emma Straub, who responded the next day – so maybe things have changed in the modern age.
Anyway, author and reader begin a correspondence that deepens into an emotional affair. Elspeth, is married, though her husband is not immediately mentioned. Still, Elspeth and David claim innocence – it’s only letters, after all, none of which contain anything flagrant. There is mild flirtation, though, and an unquestionable understanding between them. They are like-minded souls, two literary beings sharing the deepest parts of themselves, responding to each letter with an open heart. So it’s no surprise that they fall in love. They don’t do so immediately – the development is slow and subtle. But once the secret is out – it’s out and the passion flows. Again, it’s not a physical sort of passion – they haven’t even seen each other yet – but one that lives underneath the surface.
It’s no surprise that they fall in love but what is surprising is everything that happens next. I found the storyline wholly unpredictable. As I got further into their story and circumstances worsened I found myself frantically turning the pages. Not just to follow their thread but the others that are interwoven. All are connected by one fervent effort to rediscover the past.
You may be tempted to dismiss Skye as a sappy romance, but because of the plot twists it emerges new and fresh. Elspeth and David’s love comes at a cost – it’s palpable but insecure. You won’t be sure, until the very end, if their love will endure – a guessing game that will have you finishing the book in under three days.
Submerge yourself in what is nothing less than a guilty pleasure. Go ahead and believe in love this summer!
Many thanks to TLC Book Tours and Ballantine Books for my advance reader’s copy!