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Saturday, October 7, 2017

Book Review - The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor

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Review by Suze

It's 1938 Kristoff is the apprentice of Frederick, a master stamp engraver in Austria. His employer is Jewish and while living with the family Kristoff learns more about the religion. When Frederick goes missing during the Kristallnacht Kristoff has to continue his work. He does this with the help of Frederick's daughter Elena, who's secretly a skilled engraver as well. Together with Elena Frederick doesn't only make stamps, he also forges papers and helps the Austrian resistance. It's a dangerous job and they can easily get caught. Kristoff and Elena are in love, but times are difficult. Will he be able to keep them both safe?

It's 1989 and Katie brings her father's stamp collection to Benjamin, a dealer, to have it appraised. Benjamin is immediately interested and when he discovers an unusual Austrian World War II stamp they start a search together to find out more about its background. Katie's father is in a nursing home and can't give much information about his collection. Katie is going through a difficult time as she's also getting divorced. Will she and Benjamin be able to uncover the truth behind the stamp and will this journey help Katie to heal a little?

The Lost Letter is a beautiful story about love, loss and danger. The main characters are all incredibly interesting. I equally loved reading about the past and the present. Kristoff is kindhearted and generous. He would do anything to keep Elena safe, but she's determined and fierce and doesn't listen to anyone. Katie is a wonderful woman who loves her father very much. She and Benjamin are both lovely people and they have a special connection, I loved reading about the bond they formed. I couldn't wait to find out where both stories would lead and Jillian Cantor constantly kept me on the edge of my seat.

The Lost Letter is an impressive book about a fantastic subject, stamps. I loved reading about the way they were made and their history. I also really liked the idea of the unusual stamp in the collection Katie brings to Benjamin and enjoyed going on a journey with them to find out more about it. The part about the Second World War brought tears to my eyes, as Jillian Cantor writes about it in a poignant honest way. Her story is gripping from beginning to end and has many fascinating elements. The Lost Letter is an amazing compelling book, I highly recommend this surprising and unique story.


If you love stories set in both the past and the present with an interesting international journey you should definitely read The Lost Letter.


  1. An interesting topic to write a tale around, not one that at first strike me as intriguing, so glad it worked for you.

  2. This sounds interesting. And I collect stamps so you have me curious:)

  3. Nice review! It sounds like an interesting read and I could see this as a movie too!

  4. Stories set in both the past and the present are always a challenge to me. I'm not fond of them, but if they are written nicely, I do fall in love.

  5. I like the historical element of this story.

  6. I remember an Audrey Hepburn/Cary Grant thriller that had the subject of rare stamps as a central theme. Was it Charade?

  7. I like the idea of the stamps that different generations.

  8. It sounds like an amazing story!