Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review of The Letters by Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger

Synopsis: "Is there any mystery greater than those we love the most?

In this remarkable collaboration, New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger combine their unique talents to create a powerfully moving novel of an estranged husband and wife through a series of searching, intimate letters. By way of a correspondence so achingly real you’ll forget it’s fiction, they trace the history of a love affair and of a family before, and after, the moment that changed the course of two people’s journey forever.

Sam and Hadley West are both trying in their own ways to survive after the unthinkable loss of their only son in Alaska. For Sam, a sports journalist, acceptance means an arduous trek by dogsled across the bleak and beautiful arctic wilderness to find the place where Paul died. For Hadley, it means renting a benignly haunted, salt-soaked cottage off the Maine coast where she begins to paint again.

Now, at opposite ends of the country, waiting for their divorce to be finalized, they begin to exchange letters by post, missives filled with longing and truths they’ve never before voiced, as they recall their marriage—its magic moments and its challenges—and begin to rediscover the reasons they fell in love in the first place.

As Sam risks his life to reach the remote crash site, Hadley begins an equally hazardous inner journey to a rendezvous with the mad grief of a mother’s heart. At the place where all else is lost, they will meet again…."

My Review: Well that was an unbelievably emotional book to read. So many ups and downs through out the story, well letters, which seems to add a whole other level to the story. You feel a connection with the story yet somehow a little detached from the characters as if you are reading someone's private letters. I really appreciated the way it is written by two authors to give them more voice. Be forewarned there are so many very strong and emotional issues involved in the story including death and divorce, alcoholism and affairs. I normally am not one to mark a book, it usually drives me crazy when someone underlines parts or makes notes in the margin but with this book I couldn't help myself, there were so many great lines that spoke to me. The first I came across spoke to one of my fears when having a child, on page 51 "We had stopped being a couple - we were just Paul's parents." This particular line resonated so much with me, I had to underline and mark the page, as well as put the book down and absorb it for a minute or two. Another section I marked emphasized that we are so much more honest and truthful in written letters, and that is such a truth. I will share one final quote with you and hope that you will give this book a try and that it will speak to you as well. This quote is from page 187, "Love is not a shield, or a guard. It's the hand we give to each other, and we cannot live our lives holding on for balance. But the hand is there, waiting and willing the return, and the hand is never quite at rest without the other."
My Rating: If you have sat through that review, maybe you are considering reading it.  Honestly this is one of those books I wish I had a book club to share it with and discuss! It is definitely a Four Paw book!

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