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Letters Across the Sea

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Inspired by a little-known chapter of World War II history, a young Protestant girl and her Jewish neighbour are caught up in the terrible wave of hate sweeping the globe on the eve of war in this powerful love story from the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child.

If you’re reading this letter, that means I’m dead. I had obviously hoped to see you again, to explain in person, but fate had other plans.

1933

At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah’s handsome older brother, Max.

But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler’s hateful ideas cross the sea and “Swastika Clubs” and “No Jews Allowed” signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families.

1939

Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right?

Perfect for readers of The Daughter’s Tale and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Letters Across the Sea is a poignant novel about the enduring power of love to cross dangerous divides even in the darkest of times.

Photograph by Bryghton Towns

Genevieve Graham is the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child, Tides of Honour, Promises to Keep, Come from Away, and At the Mountain’s Edge. She is passionate about breathing life back into Canadian history through tales of love and adventure. She lives near Halifax, Nova Scotia. Visit her at GenevieveGraham.com or on Twitter and Instagram @GenGrahamAuthor.

Praise for Letters Across the Sea

“Graham further cements her status as one of the preeminent writers of Canadian twentieth century historical fiction by illuminating a dark and complex chapter in the nation’s past in the decade leading up to World War II. With meticulous research and vivid prose and memorable characters, Graham demonstrates once more her unique ability to inspire, educate, and entertain.”
— PAM JENOFF, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star

“A compelling story, meticulously researched and beautifully told—to the point that I was moved to tears on several occasions. Graham is a master storyteller with a gift to touch the heart. I’m so happy to have discovered her work.”
— SANTA MONTEFIORE, bestselling author of The Temptation of Gracie

Praise for The Forgotten Home Child

“If there’s one thing that defines The Forgotten Home Child, it’s the essence of the past. In these pages, one family discovers the truth about their personal history and realizes that while our pasts are imperfect and multi-faceted, and can bind us or set us free, in the end, they inform our identity. Genevieve Graham captures the reader’s attention from the beginning in this exquisite journey to the heart of what makes us human.”
ARMANDO LUCAS CORREA, bestselling author of The German Girl and The Daughter’s Tale

“Drawing on a dark, yet little-known chapter in Canada’s history, Graham paints a searing portrait of a childhood shattered by isolation and brutality. I was profoundly moved by this tale of courage, fortitude, and the heart’s ability to open again in the wake of great injustice. The Forgotten Home Child is a powerful and engrossing read, brimming on every page with both heartbreak and hope.”
ROXANNE VELETZOS, bestselling author of The Girl They Left Behind

“Another gem from one of my favourite historical fiction authors! Graham reveals our past—both the shame and the hope of it—in the truest possible light. In doing so, she offers promise that the future can be changed by the telling of such important stories. This novel is heartbreaking yet romantic, distressing yet charming—and perfect for fans of Joanna Goodman and Jennifer Robson!”
MARISSA STAPLEY, bestselling author of The Last Resort

The Forgotten Home Child is a poignant, edgy, and skillfully written portrayal of a home child’s experience that typified so many. The absence of any sugar coating makes this story come to life and brings a level of reality that is often lacking—an emotional journey well worth reading.”
LORI OSCHEFSKI, CEO of the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association

“Brings alive in the imagination the lives of what were once called Barnardo children—kids who came from England to Canada to be adopted into families here. While historically not all of the stories were positive, Graham evokes the experience of a groundswell of young immigrants from which many in this country are descended.”
— Toronto Star

“Graham . . . has crafted a sensitive, moving tale of a group of displaced children and their search for belonging on our shores. This little-known piece of our nation’s history couldn’t be in better hands.”
— Canadian Living

More books from this author: Genevieve Graham