Who does the letter belong to? Does it carry the same meaning for both the writer and the recipient? And what if it never reaches its final destination?
For American author, Amy Bloom, the unsent letter is just as revealing as the one that arrives on your doorstep. "You think of the letter as existing between the writer and the reader, but of course it exists as soon as it is written.
Much of Ian McEwan's best writing has been about children. From his astonishing early stories in the 1970s to The Child in Time and, above all, Atonement, he has seen childhood through a glass darkly. Whether it is what adults do to children or what children do to adults, it rarely ends well.
Ahron Bregman's new book is an intelligent, critical account of contemporary Israeli history after the 1967 Six-Day War. The conquered territories, occupied and then colonised, became an ideological albatross that has hung around Israel's neck ever since.
Two new books on aspects of Anglo-Jewish history cover a period from pre-Norman conquest to the present day. Both make a valuable contribution to our knowledge of Anglo-Jewry outside its traditional main centres of activity.
The man chided: "No Yiddish and no chess? What kind of Jew are you?" The answer is, a troubled one. Baruch Kotler, the central character in The Betrayers is on the run. He has been blackmailed, betrayed and has turned betrayer. He is in a mess.
David Bezmozgis is hard to categorise. Born in Riga, in Latvia, he grew up in Canada.
This is a revelatory exploration of Vladimir Jabotinsky, "father of the Israeli right". He has been projected as a colossus by Menachem Begin and succeeding generations of Likud leaders. The Zionist left, aided and abetted by David Ben-Gurion, depicted him as a neo-fascist.
In the catalogue of genocide and barbarism that was the Holocaust there were heartwarming instances of people and communities risking their lives to rescue Jews. One thinks of the rescue of Danish Jews, the work of Oskar Schindler and many other cases of individual bravery.
Amy Bloom's latest novel is the literary equivalent of sunlight on water - all dazzle and surprise. The surface story, set in 1940s America - of two young Jewish half-sisters thrown together by one mother's death and the other's defection - grabs you straight by the heart.