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Letters From The Suitcase Hardcover – Illustrated, 15 Jun 2017
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'An incredible story' (Judy Finnigan)
An enthralling love story, which splices vintage detail with David and Mary's surprisingly frank and modern attitudes on everything from sex to politics (Daily Mail)
LETTERS FROM THE SUITCASE - An enchanting, poignant and incredibly moving account of the five year early marriage between two lovers divided by war - and the legacy they left for their only child.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
As with Nella Last's renowned Diaries, the book also offers snapshots of social history. These aren't so evident as in Nella's books, but they do offer insight into the spirit of the times. I was surprised at the frank, open nature of a lot of the language that was used by David when he was based in the UK.
The correspondence starts in 1940 and includes the period covered by the birth of the editor, David and Frances' daughter Rosheen. It takes a break when David and Frances lived together in rented accommodation in Swansea, then restarts as David prepared to move overseas and covered the last year of his life, in India. They were ferocious correspondents, sometimes writing two letters in a day. Above all, their letters are full of their love for each other and for their daughter. How poignant it must have been for the editor to have read this and realised just how much she was loved.
I smiled wryly at the mention of an evening post; my grandchildren were surprised that we used to have a second post in the late morning, following a breakfast time delivery. I did get an evening post regularly at Christmas but it was the only one that day. How times have changed.....
When my marriage broke up in the early 1990s I destroyed all the correspondence from my ex-husband, who was in the Forces. I regret that now, as whilst he wasn't a particularly eloquent writer his letters - he didn't keep mine - offered a snapshot of the mid Seventies that others may have found interesting in a few decades. The 1940s were nearer then than the Seventies are now, a sobering thought.
. A sometimes sad, sometimes amusing but undemanding read that really engages.
This book contains ALL the above mentioned epistolary delights with the background of a new love affair, the separation caused by the war and the minutiae of a relationship in its first blossoming until its last.. and beyond.
The excitement that Rosheen, daughter of the two lovers, must have felt when she found this treasure trove archive of letters from a far distant time must have been great indeed. Reading through the communications and the resulting conclusions of what these letters meant to the senders and how now we can live through an intimate love affair and the troubling circumstances keeping these two apart (by their very definition letters presume that the writers are not in the same space) makes for a very unique volume.
I got to know Mary and David so well that when I took up the book again after a rest from it, it was like meeting up with old friends.
This is a strong and mostly joyful experience of love under duress but a love that will never die
These are not written with an eye on posterity, are lively and emotive and often mundane which is exactly what makes them feel so real. There's nothing really unique about this story: in some ways it must be the story of so many young couples who fell in love during the second world war, but it is a very human one. Good for anyone who's interested in social history or, indeed, eavesdropping on someone else's private life.
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