BOOK CLUB: Twenty-Six Letters

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“Twenty-Six Letters” by Charlotte Nash is an immensely enjoyable read, but it’s difficult to
discuss the plot without spoilers. It’s also a novel that edges across genre lines without quite
crossing them.

Wilhelmina Mann has just entered her thirties and feels that she should have her life
together. But as her father is all too ready to point out, she doesn’t. She’s living at home, her
relationship barely deserves the name, she keeps screwing up at work, and she’s just been
arrested (again).

After a cataclysmic few days, Wil is single, broke, homeless, and unemployed. One good
thing comes out of this: the arrest exposes an error at her father’s solicitor’s office. They have
a bundle of letters for Wil from her long-dead mother. Wil was supposed to have received
one each year; but she only received the first of them.

Wil has always felt her mother’s absence, and wondered how her life might be different if
she’d lived. The existence of the letters stir up a potent mixture of emotions. As Wil reads
them, she finds a picture of her mother – and indeed, Wil’s own past – that doesn’t match
Wil’s memories or what she’s been told over the years. Wil is drawn into finding out more
about her mother.

I really fear that if I tell you more about the plot, I’ll spoil a strong story. The plot sounds
straightforward, but combined with strong characterisation, it’s complex and layered. I found
it very difficult to put down.

Wil’s quest is compelling. At times the need to know what happens next is so strong that it
veers into the kind of pull I expect from a thriller. And although Nash calls herself a romance
writer, that element is subservient to the relationship between Wil and her absent mother. I
wouldn’t call this a romance novel. Essentially, this is a contemporary novel with elements of
a number of different genres, none of them dominant.

I was drawn to the different characters in different ways. I empathised strongly with Wil’s
mother. I understood Wil. I wanted to know more about David Hunter, the architect who gets
involved in Wil’s quest. I wanted to smack Wil’s father for his poor parenting. I was
intensely irritated by Baron Elston and the others who seem intent on impeding Wil’s efforts
to find out about her mother’s early life. And I really, really wanted to drop kick Rob (you
will too). In other words, every character generated a strong emotion or reaction in me.

This is an emotional and intelligent read, one that will be enjoyed by a wide range of readers.
I recommend it if you’re looking for something with a lot of emotional depth, but which is
written in an easy reading style. This will suck you in quickly and keep you till the last page.

ISBN: 978-1-76106-652-8
Copy courtesy of Allen and Unwin (2022)

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Twenty-six Letters by
Charlotte Nash.
You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

8 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Twenty-Six Letters

  1. Twenty-Six Letters by Charlotte Nash is one of those books that draws you in and leaves you needing to stay up until it is finished. I stayed up until 1am because I had to finish this book!

    Wilhelmina Mann is in her early 30’s, living at home with her dad, working odd jobs and has a drop kick of a boyfriend when she ends up in the lock-up. Her time in the lock-up leads to her receiving a package full of letters from her mother who died when she was 4.

    These letters set Wil on a journey of self-discovery that leads her to the tiny English village her mother resided in as a child. Through the letters from her mother and her interactions with local villagers Wil finds out not only her mother but also herself and her place in the world. It is difficult to say too much without giving away spoilers and I am loathe to do that. But let me just say that the characters in this book will make you angry, laugh and cry, and they all have their part to play in Wil’s finding her place in the world. Secrets are discovered and revealed, family are drawn together and there is intrigue and romance.

    I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down. A real page-turner.

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for the chance to read and review this book.

  2. Wil is 30 with her only accomplishment in life seeming to be to constantly stuff up. On last legs with her dad, helping him with his construction business she was hoping to turn this around. Alas,an arrest and a demolished kitchen found Wil with no job, no home and a more than strained relationship with family.
    During the chaos that is her life, the family attorney gives Wil some long lost letters from her mum who died when she was young. Designed to be given to her through growing up, the letters add new challenges to Wil, to understanding herself and getting to know a mum she barely remembers.
    Its a story that intrigues and draws readers in, to find out what the next letter will say, for the impact it may make for Wil’s life.
    A warming story and fun read, thanks Charlotte Nash & Beauty & Lace for the opportunity

  3. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Twenty-Six Letters by Charlotte Nash.

    I absolutely loved this story!!

    This story follows the life of Wilhelmina Mann, a lady who seems to always find trouble. She is also a lost soul trying to find answers to who she is.

    From the Gold Coast to England this story has it all, heartbreak, finding secrets and finding answers.

    Full of twists and turns this is a must read!!

    Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  4. Loved Charlotte Nash’s Twenty Six Letters, at times heart-wrenching and heart-warming. Mina is a very likeable and, for me, relatable main character who doesn’t feel like she fits in anywhere. Stemming from childhood tragedy, she is struggling to find her niche. Then, she receives a bunch of letters written by her long since dead mum, which prompt an overseas adventure where she ends up finding more than she ever expected. Secrets, scandals, romance and surprises ensue. I really enjoyed the historical components, armchair travel and cast of colourful characters – especially Rose and Bill!

    A thoroughly enjoyable novel that I would highly recommend!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Allen & Unwin for introducing me to this book and author – I look forward to reading more from the talented Charlotte Nash.

  5. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin I was lucky enough to review “Twenty Six Letters” by Charlotte Nash.

    Wilhelmina Mann, known as Mina, is in her 30’s and still living at home with her dad, working for her dad, after having had many off jobs over the years, and has a boyfriend who is no good for her. Mina’s mum had died when she was 4 and over the years she had also lost contact with her only sister. She was at a lost and didn’t know what to do with her life, everything she did was a mistake and ended in drama.

    She ends up discovering that her mother had wrote her letters before she died, one for every year. Mina’s dad had kept these letters from her. As Mina starts to read them she discovers what her mother’s life was like growing up and stories of her past.

    This leads Mina to a little English town where her mother grew up and on a journey to track down certain people, places and the remainder of the letters that were hidden in the town church. Only to get there to the church and find the letters were missing. Mysteriously the letters start to show up one by one.

    It’s a story of loss, love and families reuniting. You won’t want to put this one down. It was a great read that kept you wanting more. There were a few little twists in the last half that were unexpected but a great story line.

  6. Twenty-Six Letters by Charlotte Nash is the story of Wilhelmina Mann known as Mina. It follows her life from the Gold Coast to England. It’s full of twists and turns involving heartbreak, secrets and solving the mystery of what is in the twenty-six letters.

    After having many jobs Mina now works for her dad but not all is easy here. She has a boyfriend that really is not good for her. Her whole life seems to be upside down, losing contact with her sister and not being settled until she discovers that her mother had written her letters which her father had kept from her. There is one for each year but the letters she received were not all of them so Mina goes on a journey to England to hopefully find the remainder of the letters.

    The trip to England takes Mina to the town where her mum grew up, meeting people who knew her mum and places that she had been and finding the remainder of the letters. The remainder of the letters were supposed to be hidden in the town church but when she searches for them sadly finds that they are not there but they appear one by one at the place she is staying.

    What do all these letters contain? You will need to read the book to find out!

  7. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Allen and Unwin for the opportunity to review “Twenty Six Letters” by Charlotte Nash.
    I really enjoyed the book the author had me yell out “what!” Numerous times as we follow the life of Wilhelmina Mann. Living on the Gold Coast and seen as a constant disappointment by her father, Wil, unexpectedly, stumbles accross a heap of letters written to her, by her late mother. Each letter reveals some truths that she has to face but to her surprise the letters lead her to her mothers birthplace where she discovers more letters from her mother…….
    This is a great book and I really enjoyed the suspense and unexpected twists

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