I was given this book to review by The Review of Texas Books.
In her memoir, Letters from England, Conita Jernigan Lyle not only shares her adventures of living abroad as a teacher for the Department of Defense in the early 1960’s, but also gives readers an intimate view of her struggle to remain both independent and free-spirited in an emotional climate that makes it difficult for her not to bend to the tug of young love that awaits her on the other side of the pacific. Though the conversations recounted at the beginning of the memoir seem a bit stiff in places, Lyle makes up for it in her letters, where she describes picturesque and lush landscapes that she encounters throughout her European travels. The book is broken down into three parts: the romance, the letters, and the choice, and for any woman who has battled a fickle heart, Jernigan’s position and her prose is easy to understand. Though young readers may be a bit baffled by the propriety and pace of such a memoir, it definitely wouldn’t hurt to offer them a glimpse of an affair based in elegant letters rather than cryptic cell phone texts. If you can’t afford England, I recommend giving this book a close read instead.
Conita Jernigan Lyle. Letters from England. Dallas: Brown Books Publishing Group, 2010. 265 pp. ISBN-13: 978-1-934812-72-3