The Letters is a debut novel by Fiona Robyn. It is a startling work: like a flower that needs staking in the wind it wavers at base before Robyn's work bursts forth in the most beautiful living prose.
Violet is a fifty-one year old divorcee and mother of four adult children, a son and three daughters. She has moved to the Sussex coast to start again, and the book opens with Violet, in a terrible temper, leaving her lover Tom. Violet's reminiscences about her life, and how she has got to where she is, are interspersed with letters. These letters are mysterious objects out of time. A complete series dated in the 1950s, they arrive periodically and spook Violet as she tries to come to terms with the woman she has become post-divorce.
Initially not enough is made of the mysterious letters, they just appear, and much of the early story is made up of family reminiscence. Then suddenly, part way into the novel, Violet steps off the page and really starts to live, with prose that is light and fast and utterly convincing, and by the end we have an absolute little cracker of a book.
This is an ultimately enchanting first step on what will no doubt be a fascinating path for Fiona Robyn, and I am sure many readers will follow her work closely. It really is worth a read.