BookView Review: Letters of Understanding by Christopher J. Mooney

BookView Review rated it:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Letters of Understanding

Christopher J. Mooney

Coming soon


Mooney’s gripping novel is a potent story of deception, espionage, and WWII action with family and love at its core. All the siblings in the Kelly family knew about the existence of thousands of personal letters written over the course of forty-four years by their father David to their grandmother Eileen, but considering those were just regular notes, without a hint of intrigue, drama or angst, no one paid much attention to those. However, as an archivist of Special Collections at the college, Francis Kelly knew he had to do something about the letters. And then there was this question about the existence of a few mementos from his father’s trips across Europe: as far as Francis knew his father never talked about his visits to the Soviet Union or Scotland. Francis begins to look into their family’s history. What surfaces is a complicated story of their grandfather’s deception of both his families and his country, which proves more shocking than he’d imagined. The narrative shifts easily between the third-person omniscient voice and David’s perspective, providing eye-opening insights about the workings of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, Russia’s KGB, and the Franciscan’s Ordo Fratum Minorum. Mooney easily immerses readers in the characters’ inner lives, making palpable the sacrifices made by the secret service agents who often worked behind the scenes during the WWII era. The narrow focus on the Kelly family, particularly William, provides an intimate look at how all warfare is based on deception. Readers will be captivated by this immersive tale.


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