Letters from Skye centres around Elspeth Dunn, a Scottish Poet who lives on the magical Isle of Skye with her family. After an unexpected fan letter and years of correspondence with Davey, an American ambulance driver on the western front. She must decide whether to follow her heart and leave the Inner Hebrides or continue waiting for her silent and distant husband, Iain to return to Skye.
‘You know, I’m content right now, but that contentment is as fragile as an egg. I’m cushioning it trying to keep it from the booms and crashes across the channel. I’m so afraid something is going to crash so loud that it will reach clear across to my little island.’
During World War II Elspeth’s daughter Margaret unearths love letters to a mysterious ‘Sue’ and sets out to discover her mother’s First Chapter and why her uncle Finlay is estranged from all their family.
The Return of Captain John Emmett Laurence Bartram’s empty life is suddenly full of questions when he is asked by Mary Emmett, the younger sister of an old school friend who has committed suicide, to investigate John’s death. Laurence and his military friend Charles soon discovers that the origins of Emmett’s demise begins with a court-marshal execution of Lieutenant Hart which went horrifically wrong in WWI and a shared love of poetry.
‘John Emmett was unwell and unable to defend himself. Mrs Bolitho is all too able to defend herself, but vulnerable because of her circumstances. I, however, am neither unwell nor vulnerable. I have absolutely nothing to lose, whereas you, I think, do. I can assure you I shall do the very best I can to bring you down without a moment’s hesitation.’
My Dear, I wanted to tell you beautifully shows the struggles men and women faced during the war, not necessary the day-to-day hardships but their problems with staying connected to love ones, finding a contented versions of themselves, and the different ways they each dealt with their troubling thoughts.
‘The silence deepened around them. After a small eternity, he said “I killed.” After another, she said: “I let them die.” They were both surprisingly unaffected by their confessions. Each had a sense of “of course. Is that all?” Each was aware that this could not be called morally normal. Each knew that they couldn’t help it. Each knew that the other knew it, and each felt the tendrils of tenderness rising. So when he put his hand out, she gave him hers.’
When Riley Purefoy, a young working class Londoner accidentally meets the bohemian Waveney family in Kensington Gardens, his eyes are opened to art, culture and the beauty of Nadine Waveney. After he sustains serious facial injuries, their love is tested as Riley pushes Nadine away. Julia and Peter Locke are newly weds when war breaks out, which places on enormous strain on their fragile marriage, especially when Peter’s coping mechanism for his nightmares is to drink to oblivion in the arms of a strange woman.