My Dear Bessie : A Love Story in Letters, Paperback Book

My Dear Bessie : A Love Story in Letters Paperback

Edited by Simon Garfield

4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


AS HEARD ON RADIO 4'Utterly wonderful' NINA STIBBE, author of Love, NinaTwenty 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.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 384 pages, with b&w integrated illustrations
  • Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Diaries, letters & journals
  • ISBN: 9781782115670

Other Formats



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Lovely collection of one couple's correspondence during World War 2. Most of the letters are from Chris Barker to his darling Bessie waiting for him back in England. I wish more of her letters to Chris had survived the war. I loved the peek into their world whilst they were falling in love and how their relationship changed throughout the war. For anyone who loves epistolary fiction these real life missives do not disappoint.

Review by

This was an intriguing book, as well as informative and heartwarming. The book is a collection of letters that Chris sent to Bessie, and showed us, not only did love survive the war, but also that love can blossom and survive. <br/><br/>The last chapter is from their grandson, and tells the lovely story of their long and happy life together. My only gripe is that the letters are one sided, so it was kinda like listening to one end of a phone call. So it is a great shame that more of Bessie's letters didn't survive.<br/><br/>Overall a lovely little book for anyone to curl up with.