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The Girl in the Letter

Written by: Emily Gunnis
Narrated by: Jane McDowell
Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (43 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Perfect for fans of Kate Morton and Kathryn Hughes, this gripping novel of long-buried secrets will stay with you for ever.

A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.

1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret's, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.

Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret's. Before it is too late. 

Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret's set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a 60-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever....

Read her letter. Remember her story.... 

©2018 Emily Gunnis (P)2018 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

What the critics say

"A great book, truly hard to put down. Fast paced, brilliantly plotted and desperately sad at times - all hallmarks of a best seller." (Lesley Pearse)

"I was gripped by The Girl in the Letter. The story is compelling, twisty, heart-wrenching and thought-provoking. A novel that stays with you." (Sophie Kinsella) 

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great story with an excellent narrator

This is the first audio book I have read. What a wonderful first pick (#audible1). The story keeps you wanting to learn more as the story unfolds. The characters and plot are well developed with lots of twists and turns. The story unfolds in the past and the present and this works really well to set the background to the events that come to light in the present. The narrator is wonderful and she was also instrumental in contributing to my enjoyment in listening to this book. I can highly reccomend The Girl in the Letter to other Audible members.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic read!

I couldn't listen to this fast enough. It had me in my seat literally and I was surprised a lot with the twists and turns, and that does not happen often. Highly recommended

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    5 out of 5 stars
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WOW

what an a amazing read!! I couldn't put this story down. the narration was absolutely perfect. I will listen to this story over and over like an old favorite movie... phenomenal!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • HB
  • 2019-05-12

Narrator

The Narrator had a wonderful voice however she continously swallowed throughout the readings which was distracting.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Riveting

This book kept me thoroughly engrossed from start to finish. Not the obvious turns of a predictable novel. Very well narrated. Helped me to further understand the plight of young pregnant girls at the hand of the powerful Catholic Church.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Implausible

Needing a break from WW2 fiction, I decided to purchase this book. Based on the reviews, I was excited to read this book. Ultimately, I was sadly disappointed. The incident that sparked the entire book was implausible. How could Ivy know about the tunnels, where they lead to, and that Elvira had a twin sister who would coincidentally meet her in the graveyard??

From then on I was skeptical. A windowless attic where the moonbeams revealed the sleeping children inside? Editorial misses like that, are one of my pet peeves.

The murders were drawn out, and Ivy's letters repeated. I found myself advancing the recording past parts of the letters and the murders scattered throughout the story.

I was happy to finish this book. Not to find out what would happen, but to get on to something else.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-02-14

Great twists and turns!

The only reason I marked the performance less than a five, was the echo talk to represent phone conversation. It was harder to hear those parts.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Awin
  • 2019-02-03

Great story but smacking and swallowing constantly narration.

Loved the story but it became nails on a chalkboard listening to the constant smacking and loud swallowing from the narrator.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-31

Good Story

It was interesting from the start. several twist and turns.kept me guessing. I would reccomend

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • CCL
  • 2019-01-13

The Girl in the Letter

Excellent. Listened in audio and could not put it down.

Looking forward to more books by the author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TammyR
  • 2019-01-11

Engrossing and Heartbreaking Story

Captivating, intricately woven story performed beautifully by Jane McDowell. I didn't want to quit listening.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • mendolynne
  • 2019-09-18

desperately sad far too long

A critic wrote, about this novel, that the plot was well paced and it was “desperately sad at times - all hallmarks of a best seller”. Why would those traits be the hallmarks of a bestseller??

I am over half way through the book. There is a small plot that is far too slowly being unfolded for some of the time, but most of the time this story is so unrelentingly desperately sad it is a grueling task to keep listening.

There might well be a joyful ending to this Dickens-like tale but I sincerely do not understand why a writer would put their readers through such cruelty and brutality foisted upon young girls. What on earth does this teach us? One short description of how these poor girls, who were mostly impregnated in the 40s and 50s, were treated would suffice to let us know how hard it was back then. But why torture us for so many chapters with every tiny detail told over and over again?

That some of the girls were strong enough to survive is a good reminder of how resilient the human spirit can be. But alas I just don’t know if I can finish this book Perhaps I’ll take a break from it and then try it again later.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Melissa Curtis
  • 2019-09-14

Not what I thought

couldn't finish this book as I could not keep up with what was going on! Kept going back and forth between characters, it was boring, and bad performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-09-01

could not stop listening, so I had to buy the book


when I was not unable to listen, I read. when I could read, I listened. Two days later I was done.
The reader was good in charater changes, but the sounds of her swallowing were annoying. I suppose the editing should have caught that. Anyway, that aside, this book had me at prologue. As mentioned in previous reviews, it was riveting and so hard to put down.
I am sharing the book with three friends who love it as I do.
I'm starting The Lost Child in a couple weeks.
The Girl in the Letter, Ivy, just needs to settle in my mind before I meet another one of Gunnis's characters. Bravo!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • KC
  • 2019-08-31

Sad to think this really happened

This story is based on a Catholic home for unwed mothers. To keep the Mother's under comtrol they use abuse and intimidation. This book is difficult to read as this home is Catholic and homes like these existed.There are so many twists and turns, you have a web of reality, of events that occured there, you have deaths, illigetimate burths and it sometimes gets hard to follow as people were tortured. It is a historical work of fiction. The storyline is interesting and sadly these home really existed. In fact sweatshops for pregnant teens existed in Ireland and UK.The narration by Jane McDowell is good. I cried while reading this book. I recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • LoRe Bolling
  • 2019-06-11

Excellent

Another dark subject comes to light. The story is both suspenseful and compelling. Great work!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful