Dearest Josephine
Momma Leighellen's Book Review

Dearest Josephine held the perfect mix of longing, love, and romance for my historical fiction loving heart.

“We’re all living some messed up coming of age story. Whether we’re thirteen or sixty, we’re all trying to figure out who we are and where we fit in.”


I adored this unique dual timeline story filled with love, letters, history and hope! The book itself is so unique as it’s told via text messages, letters, emails, and an old manuscript. But don’t let the style scare you off. It pulls you in and adds another dimension and depth to the story. The letters make the past come alive.

“Nobody talks about the other loss. The loss within us. We lose people and things, but we also lose a part of ourselves. We grieve those missing parts, too. But I think losing those parts create space. For newness. For understanding other’s hurts and welcoming them into our space. There’s no shame in brokenness.”


Dearest Josephine is a dual timeline book, so first there is the present day story of Josie De Clare. She’s a bit of a mess after the death of her father and ugly break up with her boyfriend. In his will, her father leaves her a secluded estate the family didn’t know about, so she escapes to London to check it out and find purpose and clarity while she’s there. While renovating the property, she discovers love letters written by the previous owner, all addressed to someone named Josephine that are over 200 years old!

“So many people waste time waiting for good things to happen to them. Sometimes we need to make good things happen. When we finally start doing that, we see there were good things in our lives all along.”

The letters are written back in 1820 by novelist Elias Roch. Born the bastard son to a nobleman and cast out from society, Elias seeks refuge in writing a manuscript about a quirky heroine and a world of scandal, betrayal, and unconditional love. He quickly becomes enamored with a woman named Josephine he meets at a ball. She speaks openly and is undeterred by his station. Convinced this woman is his soulmate, Elias writes letters to her, all of which divulge the tragedy and trials of his personal life.

“perhaps we never stop loving someone. We just learn to move forward. To live without them because of them.”

Current day Josie becomes completely absorbed in the letters and falls in love with Elias through his writing. She must decide if she’s going to live in the past or move forward into the future. It’s such a beautiful concept and somehow works. You can feel her longing and heartbreak.

Next steps!

Thank you to TLC Book tours and Caroline George for sending this book to me to read and review! To read more reviews, head over TO MY BLOG.
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#DearestJosephine #YA #cleanreads #cleanromance
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