Author(s): Chris Barker
Twenty hours have gone since I last wrote. I have been thinking of you. I shall think of you until I post this, and until you get it. Can you feel, as you read these words, that I am thinking of you now; aglow, alive, alert at the thought that you are in the same world, and by some strange chance loving me. In September 1943, Chris Barker was serving as a signalman in North Africa when he decided to brighten the long days of war by writing to old friends. One of these was Bessie Moore, a former work colleague. The unexpected warmth of Bessie's reply changed their lives forever. Crossing continents and years, their funny, affectionate and intensely personal letters are a remarkable portrait of a love played out against the backdrop of the Second World War. Above all, their story is a stirring example of the power of letters to transform ordinary lives.
The wartime correspondence which first warmed people's hearts in Simon Garfield's To the Letter, now available in a single volume for readers to follow their wonderful and life-changing journey
* Utterly wonderful -- NINA STIBBE author of LOVE, NINA * An immensely affecting set of letters Financial Times * These letters are magnificent Daily Mail * Barker and Moore start to fall in love by letter ... And what a sweaty, lusty love it turns out to be Guardian * What, one longs to know, is going to happen next to Chris and Bessie? ... The thrillingly intensive experience that they lived through will continue to resonate for as long as those sheets of paper are read -- DIANA ATHILL Literary Review * With Chris and Bessie it is the sheer, unclouded openness that captivates -- John Carey The Sunday Times
Chris Barker joined the Post Office at fourteen, working as a messenger boy and then as a counter clerk, becoming an active trade union member. He served as a signalman in North Africa during the Second World War. Bessie Moore was a colleague of Chris Barker's at the Post Office, before working at the Foreign Office, using her training in Morse code to translate intercepted German radio messages. She was thirty when twenty-nine-year-old Chris first wrote from North Africa. Simon Garfield is the author of fourteen acclaimed books of non-fiction including To the Letter, On the Map, and Just My Type. His edited diaries from the Mass Observation Archive, Our Hidden Lives, We Are At War and Private Battles, were bestsellers.