18 June, 1940. Oh, my Margaret, You have no secrets from me, but I've kept a part of myself locked away, always. A part of me that started scratching at the wall the day this other war started, that started howling to get out right now, the day you ran off to meet your soldier. I should have told you, should've taught you to steel your heart. Taught you that a letter isn't always just a letter. Words on the page can drench the soul. If only you knew. Mother Elspeth is fond of saying to her daughter that 'the first volume of my life is out of print'. But when a bomb hits an Edinburgh street and Margaret finds her mother crouched in the ruins of her bedroom pulling armfuls of yellowed letters onto her lap, the past Elspeth has kept so carefully locked away is out in the open. The next day, Elspeth disappears. Left alone with the letters, Margaret discovers a mother she never knew existed: a poet living on the Isle of Skye who in 1912 answered a fan letter from an impetuous young man in Illinois. Without having to worry about appearances or expectations, Elspeth and Davey confess their dreams and their worries, things they've never told another soul. Even without meeting, they know one another. Played out across oceans, in peacetime and wartime but most of all through paper and ink, Letters from Skye is about the transformative power of a letter - the letter that shouldn't have been sent, the letter that is never sent and the letter the reader will keep for ever.
Jessica Brockmole grew up in the Midwest but began writing Letters from Skye while she was living in Edinburgh. After her second child was born, she and her husband escaped the city and spent a week on the Isle of Skye. The story came to her on the journey home and she started scribbling notes in the car. To begin with, the outpouring was less a novel than an extended letter to herself, written late at night when everyone else had gone to bed. A letter reminding her not to lose touch with the people she loved, and reassuring her that she would be stronger for overcoming her fears. Jessica now lives in Indiana with her husband and two children. Letters from Skye, her first novel, has been sold in twenty-two countries.