Letters Across the Sea

A novel by Genevieve Graham.

Genevieve Graham

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.


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.


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?

From the desperate streets of Toronto to the embattled shores of Hong Kong, Letters Across the Sea is a poignant novel about the enduring power of love to cross dangerous divides even in the darkest of times — from the #1 bestselling author of The Forgotten Home Child. (From Simon & Schuster)

Genevieve Graham is a historical fiction writer from Nova Scotia. Her other books include At the Mountain's Edge, Tides of Honour, Come From Away and The Forgotten Home Child.

From the book

On Christmas morning, the remaining ragtag members of Canada's Royal Rifles and Winnipeg Grenadiers, known as C Force emerged from the mountains, worn threadbare after two weeks of fighting the relentless Japanese offensive. Without food or water, they'd climbed impossibly steep slopes to fire down on the enemy, then stooped under thick, tropical undergrowth the next, laden with weapons, dwindling ammunition and what wounded they could carry.

The attack on Pearl Harbour felt like a year ago, not 18 days. Since then, the Allied forces had lost the Hong Kong mainland to Japan and been pushed to this last stronghold, at the south end of Hong Kong Island: Stanley Fort.

Max, David, and Arnie collapsed with exhaustion, lying flat on the cement floor of the fort.

"Think we'll ever get home?" David asked.

Max rolled his head to look at his brother-in-law's profile. Like the rest of them, David was streaked with dirt; some was clumped into his beard. No one had shaved in a week. Hell, no one had taken off their boots.

Max started to answer, but David was already asleep.

From Letters Across the Sea by Genevieve Graham ©2021. Published by Simon & Schuster.

Other books by Genevieve Graham

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