Letters Across the Sea

By Genevieve Graham,

Book cover of Letters Across the Sea

Book description

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…

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Why read it?

3 authors picked Letters Across the Sea as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book takes the lives of very ordinary Canadians and throws them into the maelstrom of war. I love that it carefully sets up a world few know about—Toronto in the 1930s—and shows the ambiguity of the times, how anti-Semitism was at home as well as across the water in Europe.

I so enjoyed the Romeo and Juliet love affair at the novel's heart, and I was moved by the trials love is subjected to—as well as shocked by excellent descriptions of war's brutality.

I’d recommend this book to fans of The Notebook and serious history buffs alike.

Molly and Max are childhood friends who grew up across the street from one other in Toronto. They know and trust each other implicitly, so when an attraction develops between them as young adults, Molly and Max quickly tumble into love. What’s the issue? She’s Protestant, he’s Jewish, and Depression-era Canada is boiling with antisemitism.

Structurally, Letters Across the Sea is a classic World War II novel; Graham makes it stand out with loads of fascinating Canadian history and an unflinching look at the brutal conditions…

Although I knew about the Japanese atrocities and prison camps in WWII, I’d not read about it from the Canadian perspective, and I learned about the great losses those soldiers endured in the Battle for Hong Kong and the years after. This is a tale of overcoming hate with love, of struggling with despair while holding onto hope, of acceptance and long-buried truths, and in realizing we are all equally treasured no matter our religion, station in life, or wrong decisions made in haste. Do not miss the author's notes at the end! They are a mini-history lesson in and…

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