Letter From Home Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Letter From Home

Berkley, Oct 2003, 22.95, 272 pp.
ISBN 0425191796

In a small Oklahoma town during the summer of 1949 Gretchen Gilman left her innocence behind and saw the world as it actually was. She keeps busy working in her grandmother's cafe in the early mornings before rushing to work as a reporter for the local paper the Gazette.
Click here to see the rest of this review

After the police left Faye Tatum's place following somebody called in a complaint, Gretchen and her friend Barb, Faye's daughter, find Faye dead, the victim of strangulation. Faye's husband Clyde is nowhere to be found and popular opinion says that he killed her in a jealous rage after he found out she went to the local bar to dance while he was being prepared to be shipped out. Many people believe Faye deserved what she got because she was an artist who stepped out on her husband. Gretchen's grandmother is hiding Clyde who intends to find out who killed his wife. Tragedy begets death and for years after, Gretchen tries to put the events of that summer behind her until a letter from someone in her past stirs up all the ugly memories.

This story is told from Gretchen's perspective years after the fact and readers feel her pain as she remembers being ostracized by those she thought were friends because she wrote about Faye in the newspaper in a favorable light. This is more than just a murder mystery. It is a slice of small town America during the World War II years. Carolyn Hart has written a very rich and colorful atmospheric novel, one that captures the essence of a bygone era.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Letter From Home

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) How difficult to spot villain?    -   Very difficult--no foreshadowing/clues Time/era of story:    -   1930's-1950's What % of story relates directly to the mystery, not the subplot?    -   70% Misc. Murder Plotlets    -   Proving innocence of very obvious suspect Kind of investigator    -   amateur citizen investigator Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Any non-mystery subplot?    -   life in small town Crime Thriller    -   Yes Murder Mystery (killer unknown)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   a teen


United States    -   Yes The US:    -   West

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Letter From Home

Carolyn Hart Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian