A collection of adult epistolary reads

image of girl with black hair and glasses in jean jacket giving thumbs up inside green circle. box underneath reads Miss Mahee's Booklist. light blue background around white.
Booklists for you

Hi everyone, this week’s post is a book list with a collection of adult epistolary novels. To be honest, I had a hard time trying to cut down on my selections for this post as every search brought up many titles! In the end, I whittled it down to six titles. To see which ones I’ve picked, push the button below…

six-grid box. large cover image on left of woman standing at railing looking out to sea. portion of envelope above her with title The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society in cursive letters. top right small image of woman in middle and blue sky behind her and water below. white title Letters from Skye in between. middle image of black and white shop front. white letters 84, Charing Cross Road. right bottom green background and small white envelope with white letters at bottom Letters on Motherhood. middle bottom has white background and red flowy letters Keep me posted with small paper plane flying off from K. left bottom corner image of pale pink cover and stamp in top right corner. blue cursive letters read Signed, Sealed, Delivered.
A collection of epistolary reads for you

Let’s begin shall we…

For those who have been following my blog for a while, you will probably know that I have a thing for historical reads. So it was an easy decision to include the most well-known epistolary novel. Yes, I mean The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows. I must have read this at least seven to ten times over the years. Along with half the females out there, I first fell in love with Dawsey and Juliet’s letters from the book, and then for the second time as I watched the movie!! Stories set during those Second War years in the forties seem to be ones I find myself selecting. It could be the quiet strength and courage those who endured and survived those years seemed to have in abundance. Another such read is Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole. This read took me from a small settlement on the Isle of Skye, to war-torn Edinburgh and London, and the war front in France. A gorgeous love story between an unlikely couple told entirely through their letters, but the thing is we have more than one World War described in this read!! Sorry, I won’t be giving you any more details!! Just one thing: the customer I recommended this to liked it too!! 

For a true story, I suppose you can’t go past 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, the true story of correspondence between American writer Helene Hanff and bookshop manager Frank Doel over two decades. It was only after working in the libraries for a few years that I realised a movie had been made of this iconic memoir. I can honestly say that I liked the movie just as much as I liked the book!! 

When it came to contemporary reads the choices were endless!! Epistolary novels told entirely in letters were a bit harder to find in this era. I looked at a few but my eyes kept going back to Keep me posted by Lisa Beazley. A story of two sisters who are separated by oceans but who decide on writing each other hand-written letters. Told in the voice of the younger sister with their letters filling in the thoughts of the sisters, this is a quirky read with humour, intermingled with family drama, motherhood, and loyalty. 

Non-fiction titles on letter writing was another genre that had many titles to choose from. I had to make a few decisions on which ones would make the cut for this post. In the end I went with a parenting memoir and one specific letter-writing memoir!! Letters on motherhood by Giovanna Fletcher was a gorgeous book compiled of letters the author had written to her three boys and her family. At times poignant and sad, along with funny and quirky!! The family photos she includes gave this read an extra element too!! I couldn’t help but laugh and cry as I read this!!

Signed, sealed, delivered by Nina Sankovitch was a book that I had read some time ago. It has always resonated with me as she talks about the history of letter writing along with her own family’s experiences with letters. Written with Nina’s unique witty voice this read took me on a journey through the ages until the present day and into the lives of famous letter writers. If I had time, I would have copied out scores of quotes from this book, but alas, I’ll let you find the book and copy out your own choices!!

Well, there you have my selection of titles all laid out. If you have read anything similar I would love to hear about them!

Stay safe and keep reading

Miss Mahee

two images with quote in middle. top image of tied up bundle of letters with pen. glasses on top of newspaper next to it. image at bottom of envelope and paper. few flowers on top of them. quote in middle inside grey box and purple background. white letters read 'Letters are expectations packaged in an envelope. Shana Alexander.'

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