“A gorgeous and thrilling novel… Perfect for book clubs and fans of The Nightingale.” –PopSugar
A historical novel of love and survival inspired by real resistance workers during World War II Austria, and the mysterious love letter that connects generations of Jewish families. A heart-breaking, heart-warming read for fans of The Women in the Castle, Lilac Girls, and Sarah's Key.
Austria, 1938. Kristoff is a young apprentice to a master Jewish stamp engraver. When his teacher disappears during Kristallnacht, Kristoff is forced to engrave stamps for the Germans, and simultaneously works alongside Elena, his beloved teacher's fiery daughter, and with the Austrian resistance to send underground messages and forge papers. As he falls for Elena amidst the brutal chaos of war, Kristoff must find a way to save her, and himself.
Los Angeles, 1989. Katie Nelson is going through a divorce and while cleaning out her house and life in the aftermath, she comes across the stamp collection of her father, who recently went into a nursing home. When an appraiser, Benjamin, discovers an unusual World War II-era Austrian stamp placed on an old love letter as he goes through her dad's collection, Katie and Benjamin are sent on a journey together that will uncover a story of passion and tragedy spanning decades and continents, behind the just fallen Berlin Wall.
A romantic, poignant and addictive novel, The Lost Letter shows the lasting power of love.
About the Author
Jillian Cantor is the author of award-winning novels including, most recently, the critically acclaimed The Hours Count and Margot. Born and raised outside Philadelphia, Cantor currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
"I devoured The Lost Letter… an intriguing and very personal story of resistance." —Georgia Hunter, author of We Were the Lucky Ones
"A total page-turner." —New York Magazine
“[A]t the center of the novel are two beautiful love stories involving two seemingly star-crossed couples, whose love overcomes all obstacles…. Getting it right is an art, and Cantor is an artist. She got me from that first page, and I stayed hooked throughout. It’s not just that Cantor kept me interested – she got me involved emotionally with the story.” —Jerusalem Post
"Moving seamlessly between Austria in 1938 and Los Angeles in 1989, this novel connects a grim history to a more hopeful present… Cantor has done her research thoroughly to produce another captivating historical novel. Excellent writing, unusual storytelling, and sympathetic characters make a winning combination." —Kirkus
"Full of heartbreak and tragedy, this novel about love lost and found and the importance of memories, is ultimately uplifting and would be a great choice for readers who enjoy stories set during World War II." —Library Journal
“With beautifully drawn characters and historical details, The Lost Letter is a tender, ravishing story that illuminates the sacrifices of a generation on an achingly human scale. A deeply enthralling, deeply satisfying historical love story.” —Beatriz Williams, New York Times bestselling author of A Hundred Summers and The Wicked City
“A vivid and original book which spans World War II Austria to modern day Los Angeles. In this unforgettable tale of memories, love and reconciliation, Cantor writes with an absorbing voice and keen eye for detail that caught me up in the sweep of history.” —Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Kommandant’s Girl
“Past and present collide in Jillian Cantor’s latest propulsive and eloquent gem of a novel. Cantor captures the gravity of wartime Europe and combines it with powerful stories of love, loss and self-discovery. The Lost Letter is transporting; its flawless, breathtaking finale will make readers fall deeply in love with this stunning tale.” —Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of Don't You Cry and The Good Girl
"Dual-narrative novels sometimes favor one story over the other, but Cantor balances both her stories with a deft hand. Her protagonists, Katie and Kristoff, are particularly vivid, but her supporting characters, especially Faber's daughters Elena and Miriam, are also complex and engaging... Cantor's conclusion skillfully draws together two sets of world events--including the fall of the Berlin Wall--and her characters' intertwined personal histories. The Lost Letter is a poignant story of love, sacrifice and the bravery of everyday resistance." —Shelf Awareness
"Cantor uses a mysterious Austrian stamp of an edelweiss hidden within a church steeple as the subject of her affecting new novel, which unfolds in dual story lines.... Cantor integrates her historical research well and effectively harnesses the story’s emotional resonance, slowly building tension before resolving the mystery and converging the two story lines." —Publishers Weekly
"Themes of renewal after adversity and regaining what has been lost reverberate through both the character relationships and the fall of the Berlin Wall. This gives the novel a hopeful, poignant conclusion, guaranteeing appeal for fans of women’s fiction as well as historical fiction." —Booklist
Praise for Jillian Cantor's The Hours Count
“Taut, atmospheric and absorbing, this story provides an intimate window into a world most people only know from the headlines.” —Christina Baker Kline, New York Times-bestselling author of Orphan Train
“Fraught with tension and wise with empathy, this is the story of a shameful time in our nation’s history, but also of friendship, love, and loyalty.” —Laura Moriarty, New York Times-bestselling author of The Chaperone
“Utterly gripping and almost unbearably moving. A thought-provoking novel about a terrible aspect of America’s recent past, with the pace of a thriller.” —Natasha Solomons, New York Times-bestselling author of The House at Tyneford
“A deeply compelling retelling of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg’s famous betrayal. Beautifully written and meticulously researched, this book will leave you wondering about the intersection of truth and politics, responsibility and love, long after you’ve finished reading it.” —Anton DiSclafani, New York Times-bestselling author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
“Fact and fiction are blended in a gripping tale of guilt, innocence, and heartbreak. I was bowled over by her intimate portrait of women in crisis. Jillian has torn pages straight from the history books and transformed them into a riveting story of intrigue, desire, and hope.” —David R. Gillham, New York Times-bestselling author of City of Women
“Flawlessly mixes fact and fiction, drawing the reader into the world of the Lower East Side in the fifties—and the lives of accused Communist spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. A finely drawn portrait of McCarthy-era America, by turns heartwarming and haunting.” —Susan Elia MacNeal, New York Times-bestselling author of the Maggie Hope novels
“A gorgeous, thrilling novel.” —Popsugar
“We kind of love historical novels, and Cantor’s is quickly climbing to the top of our all-time faves list. . . .You won’t be able to put it down.” —Glamour
“Cantor mixes fact with fiction to create a moving portrait of two of the most vilified figures in modern history.” —Cosmopolitan
Praise for Jillian Cantor's Margot
“In this novel, a compassionate imagining of what might have happened had Margot Frank survived, Jillian Cantor provides more than a wistful what-if. She gives us a tour of the emotional nether land so often occupied by those who have survived the unimaginable and an example of extreme sibling competition—and love.” —Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us
“A convincing, engaging might-have-been. Frankophiles will want to dig in.” —People, 3.5 stars
“Inventive… Cantor’s ‘what-if’ story combines historical fiction with mounting suspense and romance, but above all, it is an ode to the adoration and competition between sisters.” —O, the Oprah Magazine