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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great read - couldn't put it down!
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this book is the knowledge that Liz Trenow displays about silk and the silk industry. Combined with her engaging characters and page-turning plot, I couldn't put this book down. Set in WWII the heroine, Lily Verner, is a naive young woman who is forced to grow up quickly. Her story is gripping until the very end, exploring love, life...
Published on 12 Oct 2012 by Ben M

versus
33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Compelling storyline xXx
When The Last Telegram landed in my post box I have to say I was a little nervous about reading and reviewing this one as it is not the type of book I would pick up if I was looking to buy a book but I decided to give it a try.

The war changed everything for Lily Verner.

As the Nazis storm Europe, Lily becomes an apprentice at her family's silk...
Published on 13 Sep 2012 by realovesbooks


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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great read - couldn't put it down!, 12 Oct 2012
This review is from: The Last Telegram (Paperback)
One of the most enjoyable aspects of this book is the knowledge that Liz Trenow displays about silk and the silk industry. Combined with her engaging characters and page-turning plot, I couldn't put this book down. Set in WWII the heroine, Lily Verner, is a naive young woman who is forced to grow up quickly. Her story is gripping until the very end, exploring love, life and work during the war years. Liz Trenow effortlessly captures the beauty of the East Anglian countryside as well as the challenges faced by rural workers during the war. I found the story about the Jewish boys brought over on the Kindertransport fascinating and felt like a real silk expert at the end of it!

This book has something for everyone: romance, intrigue, drama and an absorbing historical setting.

I thoroughly recommend it.
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79 of 83 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly beautiful love story xxx, 12 Sep 2012
By 
Megan ReadingInTheSunshine (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Last Telegram (Paperback)
I just want to start off by saying how truly stunning the cover is, it is bold, bright, colourful and eye-catching. As soon as I saw the cover and read the blurb on the back I was very intrigued and keen to start on the story.

The story opens with Lily as an elderly woman, having just been through her husband's funeral and with her children and grandchildren in her house for the wake afterwards. Lily wanders around the house that she grew up in, the house that has been her home for all of her life, and which holds so many memories. After a chat with her granddaughter, in which Lily tells her a bit about her past, we are taken back in Lily's life to when she is a teenager. We learn that her brother John as just returned from abroad and brings news of Hitlers movements and a possible war, and we follow Lily as she reluctantly starts working in her father's silk factory, hearing and seeing the story from her perspective.

Whilst working at the factory, her father decides to sponsor three German Jewish Refugees who have come to England to escape the terrible events happening in Germany. Kurt, Walter and Stefan become apprentices in the silk weaving business, and Lily finds herself working alongside and spending more time with Stefan. As the war comes closer, the silk factory take on a contract for weaving silk parachutes for the troops, vital in the war effort, and added pressure to the weavers as there is no room for error. The looming war also brings Stefan and Lily closer, how will their new relationship survive in a time of war, prejudice and fear?

I cannot describe how much I enjoyed this book. Liz Trenow has created a fantastically written story, weaving in war, family, love and loss, with issues of prejudice and secrets added to the mix. What I really enjoyed about The Last Telegram was the knowledge that was included. At the start of every chapter is a passage from Harold Verner (Lily's father) about silk. I really liked this idea, it was so interesting to be provided with a bit more background of where silk came from and how it is used. Throughout the book, Liz effortlessly integrates facts and knowledge with a beautiful story - By the time I had finished, I felt as though I'd been around silk for a long time, I felt like I'd learnt a great amount of knowledge, and I also desperately wanted to work in a silk factory and weave this beautiful material!!!

The characters in The Last Telegram were wonderful. Lily Verner in particular was a very well written character, and I loved reading about her journey from a young girl who didn't see a career in silk, to an elderly woman who had survived so much and lived a tremendous life. Throughout the story I really got behind Lily, I desperately wanted her to be successful in the mill, and for her and Stefan's relationship to be acknowledged by everyone else. I LOVED Stefan and Lily's relationship, I think they were made for each other, they had `true love' and I really looked forward to reading the chapters where they were together. Another character which was also very well-written was Gwen, I enjoyed how everyone was wary of her at first but over time she became more of a friend to the family.

The Last Telegram is a brilliantly written love story during the war, incorporating family, work, war efforts and friendship. The characters in this story showed such bravery and courage and it really touched my heart. I was absolutely gripped from the first page and I must admit I shed a few tears during the story. This is a story that I'm sure will be treasured and read over and over again. Beautiful. Truly beautiful.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, 17 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Last Telegram (Kindle Edition)
What a wonderful book. It is beautifully written and delightful to read. All the characters felt real and the setting and plot were perfect. I look forward to the author's next book.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Last Telegram, first triumph, 11 Oct 2012
This review is from: The Last Telegram (Kindle Edition)
An absorbing story which keeps delivering surprises right up to the end. Lily and Stefan's love story set in rural East Anglia against the backdrop of war, whispers, dreams and disasters will stay in your mind long after you put the book down. I loved it, my mum loved it and I'm sure my daughters will when I give it to them for Christmas. Looking forward to the next book from this exciting new writer.
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unique and Compelling storyline xXx, 13 Sep 2012
By 
realovesbooks (South east London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Last Telegram (Paperback)
When The Last Telegram landed in my post box I have to say I was a little nervous about reading and reviewing this one as it is not the type of book I would pick up if I was looking to buy a book but I decided to give it a try.

The war changed everything for Lily Verner.

As the Nazis storm Europe, Lily becomes an apprentice at her family's silk weaving factory. When they start to weave parachute silk there is no margin for error: one tiny fault could result in certain death for Allied soldiers.

The war also brings Stefan to Lily: a German Jewish refugee who works on the looms. As their love grows, there are suspicions someone is tampering with the silk.

Can their love survive the hardships of war? And will the Verner's silk stand the ultimate test?

When I began reading this book I really struggled. I had a few people ask how I was finding it and I said I was going to give it another chapter or two to try and draw me into the storyline if not I would have to stop which I hate doing, I do not like to not finish a book I have started.

The book started off very slow and the characters took along time to engage with. It was around chapter seven or eight that I found the book was starting to flow easier and started to spark my interest and so I decided to carry on.

The story is based around World War II and the weaving factory both of which I found very informative in this book more so for me the weaving mill as I had no previous knowledge of the works of a weaving mill and it is quite clear that the author has taken a lot of detailed research around this topic and this is shown greatly in this book.

The group of traditional and realistic characters in this book create a great cast and it felt as though you were there with the characters experiencing the emotions they were going through. The author manages to weave a touching romance story into the storyline between Lucy and Stefan which is frowned upon by others but the two will not let anyone come between their true feelings for each other.

There is a heart wrenching part of the story towards the end of the book when you realise that Lily has kept a secret that is breaking her heart thinking that an error of hers has caused her own misfortune.

I am glad that I perserveered with this book as I found that after the slow start there was a unique and compelling storyline, because this is not the style of book I am used to I wonder if this is the reason I found it took a long time to get into either way I would still recommend this book.

I have struggled for the first time since I have been reviewing to give a star rating for this book the slow start nearly stopped me from reading on, but yet I still enjoyed the last part of the book, which had the story been this way from start to finish it would easily have been a 4 star so I am going to give this a 3 star. This is a great price on kindle at only 99p
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most enjoyable, 15 Oct 2012
By 
Jadi (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Last Telegram (Paperback)
I had heard nothing about this writer or this novel.I had downloaded several samples on my kindle and this was one of them. After reading each sample,The Last Telegram was the one I wanted to finish! And it didn't disappoint. Well-written,gripping storyline,convincing characters...most enjoyable.I loved the information on silk,too! Look forward to reading more of this novelist's work.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner, 21 Sep 2012
This review is from: The Last Telegram (Paperback)
The Last Telegram is hard to put down. Lily's story is compelling, she is a completely believable pretty, spoilt young girl who grows up rather too fast when war breaks out, and who somehow finds the strength to do what is necessary, when war wreaks havoc with her family and their silk mill, which she ends up having to run, producing parachute silk for the war effort. All this is strong stuff, but strongest is the love between Lily and a young German/Jewish refugee boy. I won't spoil your read by revealing what happens, because it's a real page-turner, and Liz Trenow cleverly builds up the suspense to make you want to read on. It left me with two sentiments, equally strong: How tragic - and how beautiful. I thoroughly recommend this book, and look forward to Liz Trenow's next novel - I shall be looking out for it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Started out well but a disappointment, 13 Sep 2013
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This review is from: The Last Telegram (Paperback)
A well written novel. I could not put it down. However it was so very sad with one disaster after another, i wondered if this was a true story as the details about the silk industry were so well detailed. Some of the characters needed quite a lot more development, I thirsted for more character detail about Vera, Robbie and Michael and i would have liked to know how the leading character ended up with the husband of her children. When I read the book club questions at the end and found out the writer's real relations whom she based the book upon suffered a completely different consequence, I was sorely disappointed and wanted to rewrite the whole thing myself.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book, 12 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Last Telegram (Kindle Edition)
Kindle e reader! Enjoyed book, looks at secrets during wartime, a very good read value for money would recommend it to all.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Last Telegram, 23 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Last Telegram (Kindle Edition)
Intelligent and gripping read. Lots of facts about the production of silk fabric but that only enhances the story. Recommended
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The Last Telegram
The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow
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