The Last Telegram by Liz Trenow

The Last Telegram

Decades ago, as Nazi planes dominated the British sky, eighteen-year-old Lily Verner made a terrible mistake. She’s tried for decades to forget, but now an unexpected event pulls her back to the 1940s British countryside. She finds herself remembering the brilliant, lustrous colors of the silk she helped to weave at her family’s mill, the relentless pressure of the worsening war, and the kind of heartbreaking loss that stops time. In this evo...

Details The Last Telegram

TitleThe Last Telegram
Release DateApr 2nd, 2013
PublisherSourcebooks Landmark
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II, Romance

Reviews The Last Telegram

  • Book of Secrets ღ
    4.5 Stars → An English silk factory makes for a unique setting in this lovely yet heartbreaking novel of World War II. The main character is a young British woman named Lily whose plan to attend college in Switzerland is thwarted by the onset of the war. Instead, she begrudgingly agrees to learn silk weaving as an apprentice in her family's mill, and grows to become quite savvy in the business. Supplying parachutes to soldiers becomes their mai...
  • Sandi *~The Pirate Wench~*
    Summary:In England, just a few years prior to World War II, ambitious 18 year old Lily Verner begins working for her family's centuries old silk weaving business. When a group of young Jewish refugee boys begin working at the silk mill, Lily falls in love with one of them. An intelligent, dark,sultry young man named Stefan. When her family's business begins manufacturing silk parachutes for troops, Lily makes a terrible mistake that haunts her fo...
  • Kate
    Not a big fan of this one - overall, a disappointing read for me, especially given all the 4- and 5-star reviews. The writing was polished and the parts about the silk industry and everyday life during World War II were interesting and obviously well researched, but otherwise the book fell flat. Most of it read like a summary and skipped over long periods of time - I'd prefer a "show don't tell" approach, but instead Lily's narration covered majo...
  • Heidi
    Four and a half stars: A touching tale of love and loss during World War II.Lily is eighteen and excited to begin the next phase of her life. She has big plans to move to Geneva and attend school, but all of her dreams are crushed when the impending war creeps closer and closer to home. Her father sits her down and informs her that due to the dangers abroad she will be staying home in England for the time being. Lily will work as an apprentice in...
  • Erin
    Find the enhanced version of this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....There are precious few authors who can boast having brought me to tears, but thanks to her powerfully emotive debut, The Last Telegram, Liz Trenow can count herself among them. Perhaps it is because my grandparents left unanswered questions in their wake, choosing to quietly carry their burdens with them throughout their lives, but something about this...
  • Tara Chevrestt
    At first this book felt like a coming of age story, then it became a love story and a tale of war, prejudice, and how it can destroy people. Then it began to feel like a moral...karma gets you. Retribution. Guilt. And finally, letting go and forgiveness.I went on a rollercoaster ride of emotions with this. As the story changed, so did my emotions. I had feelings of anger and disgust. Sometimes I hated the heroine, wanted to slap her silly, someti...
  • Laura
    Set in England, we follow Lily, an elderly woman having just lost her husband of fifty-five years, who now dares to allow herself to reminisce to the time when she was a young woman weaving colorful silk in her father's mill while her country was at the brink of WWII. It was an emotional time of great loss for Lily who has carried guilt for years and never disclosed any of her past life with her children or grandchildren. It's a story about indep...
  • Kerry
    The Goodreads ratings for this book made me pick it up, but I was sorely disappointed. The only thing that kept me going was that I wanted to be able to review it after having finished it; otherwise I would have put it down after the first couple of chapters.This book does not only have problems with lots of narration, but the plot was flimsy, the characters weakly drawn, and certain elements unbelievable. From the start I had a hard time finding...
  • Huw Rhys
    If you want to learn more, in a fairly lighthearted way, about the process of making silk, then you might want to read this book.Other than that, I can't find any compelling reasons to recommend this overly long, very predictable, pretty turgid and generally uninspiring romance.Set in a silk factory around the Second World War, it tells the story of the Factory owner's daughter Lily and her various travails with a load of fairly undeveloped chara...
  • Megan Readinginthesunshine
    I just want to start off by saying how truly stunning the cover is, it is bold, bright, colourful and eye-catching. As soon as I saw the cover and read the blurb on the back I was very intrigued and keen to start on the story.The story opens with Lily as an elderly woman, having just been through her husband’s funeral and with her children and grandchildren in her house for the wake afterwards. Lily wanders around the house that she grew up in,...
  • Stephanie Anze
    Lily Verner is eager to leave England for Geneva to study to become a nurse. Her plans, however, are thwarted by Hitler's invasion of Europe. Instead of heading off, she is put to work as a weaver for the family's silk business. Though reluctant at first, Lily soon starts to warm up to her new occupation. Gradually, she takes on more and more responsibility until one fateful mistake alters the course of her life.Set in England, during WWII, this ...
  • Laura
    Historical fiction is tricky, but Ms. Trenow does it well: no Major Historical Figures appear, so there's no implausible interaction happening. We open with Lily's husband's funeral and the cleaning out of the house (so she can give it to her son and daughter). Her niece, Emily, helps out and happens to mention that she's going the parachute jump to raise money; that plus the finding of a locked suitcase start Lily's memories of her life during W...
  • Shirley Revill
    Absolutely brilliant story that I really enjoyed. Very well written and very hard to put down.
  • Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
    This book review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm ( Liz TrenowType: e-book ARCSource: NetGalleyGenre: Historical Fiction (WWII)Publisher: SourceBooks LandmarkPublication Date: April 1, 2013First Line: "Perhaps because death leaves so little to say, funeral guests seem to take refuge in platitudes.”Note: My sincere thanks to SourceBooks and NetGalley for prov...
  • Jessica
    I don’t know what it is about England at wartime, but there are approximately eleventy bajillion books out there about it. For either war. Some of them are quite good, but I worry that it’s a well that’s quickly going dry. So many of the stories are starting to sound the same, and I’m finding it harder to find the ones that I genuinely like among the ones that are just treading familiar water. So Liz Trenow surprised me with The Last Tele...
    There’s something very clever and special when you read a good book in first person, from page one you become the lead character; I was Lily Verner. I was the one who fell in love with Stefan, I was the one repulsed by Robbie trying to stick his beer soaked tongue down my throat and I was the one who was devastated by the events of WW2. The story starts near the end of Lily’s life, she’s just been told by her granddaughter that she is attem...
  • Bonnie
    The Last Telegram is a wonderful story of World War II as seen through the eyes of eighty-year-old Lily who burying her husband. As she reflects on her life, we flashback to Lily at eighteen who is planning on spending the summer in Switzerland. Her father, who owns a silk factory, informs her that she will not be going anywhere overseas because of the threat of war. Hitler has signed a pact with Russia and plans to invade Poland. Lily argues tha...
  • Eileen
    This was a random find at the library, and what an excellent whim, for a change! The author’s family, says the insert at the back of the book, has been involved in silk weaving for three hundred years, and the background proves to be an important element. Taking place mainly during World War II in Great Britain, this love story was intriguing from the opening pages. The heroine’s family owns and operates a silk weaving mill, which becomes vit...
  • Amanda Zirn
    Such an amazing read! I was a little weary at first because the story starts in present day, but you're quickly taken back to the 1940s. Wonderful descriptions, you heard,felt, smelt and saw everything. Such an emotional book too, you truly felt what Lily felt, I even had to stop at points just so I wouldn't burst into tears while reading it in public. Don't let that deter you from reading it though! I've read a lot of books that take place durin...
  • Laura
    I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. I picked it up without much consideration, as the cover caught my eye. I enjoy historical romantic fiction, particularly that set in world war two. I find the entire era fascinating and love the romanticism of the time. The author draws on her own family history as inspiration for this work of fiction. The story follows Lily, eighteen, and the descent into the conflict of war. Her family is resp...
  • Kinjal Shah
    I saw this book at Heathrow airport before my return flight to US & immediately bought the book. I was intrigued by the cover & brief description and haven't been able to put it down since then! It is such a beautiful story of love, friendship, family, and hope during World War II. You can't help but fall in love with Stefan and root for their relationship to be acknowledged by everyone. I loved how her character evolved from a young girl with s...
  • Christy B
    At first look, this looked like another historical fiction tale set during World War II. In some ways, it was, but it had a different settings: a silk factory.The factory eventually starts making parachutes for the war. This was an interesting perspective: a factory and its workers during wartime.This book dealt bad choices, regrets, immense love, and bravery.The point of view we're seeing through is Lily Verner, a young woman who starts working ...
  • Dinah Jefferies
    I read this when it first came out and loved it. The flow of the novel is brilliant, the way your hopes are raised and dashed, the way you care about what happens to the characters, and the compelling story itself. The story starts with Lily as an old woman just after the funeral of her husband. Once her family have left her alone, the author takes us back in time, and that's when the wartime love story begins. Liz Trenow's depiction of the destr...
  • Matthew Griffin
    The Last Telegram is just about the closest thing to a model novel that I've come across. Beautifully crafted plot, with a very interesting main story theme. I think good novels have an educational element, and this one offers a detailed view of the British silk industry without coming across as researched. In the author's notes at the end, she reveals that she is a descendent of a long line of silk weavers, and this accounts for the seamless way...
  • Jill Robbertze
    This might just be one of best novels I have read for ages. I loved this book !!!! This was no frivolous romance...this is a story with a realistic and well thought out plot set against the backdrop of a family owned silk weaving business during WW2. This is a story of how one mistake and the lie to conceal it can poison one's soul with guilt and the only way to overcome this is with forgiveness of self. A lovely thought provoking book that left ...
  • Roxann
    What started as a story about a woman who lost her husband turned into so many different things. It was kind of like HIMYM because she goes through her past and you are guessing until the last chapter who the husband is that passed away. Surprisingly, my favorite part was that I learned so much about life in England during WWII. It was very interesting, educational, and heartwarming. I would recommend it to a history-buff or a romance reader.
  • Janette Mcmahon
    The Last Telegram is in short a well written historical fiction novel set in England during World War II. It takes you to the silk weavers involved in weaving the silk for the parachutes used by pilots and forces being dropped into mainland Europe. While quite a romance, it is also a history lesson. Trenow wants her readers to look at differences of people, secrets that we all keep, and to think about assumptions we all make that are more often t...
  • Cara Hinton
    Couldn't put this book down. From the first 10 pages, I was hooked and couldn't wait to find out how this lovely woman's life unfolded. Amazing story about the silk industry and the history of silk (a really nice addition to the book) set with the backdrop of WWII. Warning, this is about WWII and it does have death and heart ache (what book doesn't that has WWII as the backdrop?), but overall, it's a lovely story. Definitely a recommend!!!
  • Angie
    It was ok. I liked the characters but in the synopsis they refer to a terrible choice that the main character makes and can't fix. This was anticlimactic and it was only a tiny tiny part of the book. A little ridiculous also that the main character is desired by practically every man in this book. I got a copy on the library resells for .50 cents. It is not shelf worthy for my bookshelves, but on a good note - it has great pages for making the or...
  • Marsha Laney
    This was one of those rare achingly beautiful novels that kinda scares you when you first start reading it because you know before its over your heart will never be the will love, lose that love, be transported and remember....tears will flow and you'll finally be redeemed. 405 pages devoured in two days...yeah it was that good.,,,