Friday, October 16, 2009
"The Letters" by Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger
I love letters. There is something so personal and fun about sending and receiving them. At times I am sad that due to email, texting and other electronic communications as well as cell phones we do so little letter writing anymore. When I saw the cover I thought this might be a book about Christmas, I guess it was all the trees and snow but that was not the case at all. In this novel Hadley and Sam are a married couple who are currently separated as they each come to terms with their 20 year old son Paul's death in a plane crash in Alaska. Sam, a sports writer, has decided to take a trip via dogsled to the location of the crash to say good-bye to his son's spirit while Hadley, an artist, rents a home in Massachusetts on an island with an active art community where she immerses herself in AA meetings and her artwork. The entire story is told through letters between the two as they work through feelings of guilt, blame, sadness and hope about the past and the future. Because of how far apart they are geographically sometimes there will be more than one letter in a row from the one to the other and because of delays in the letters being received topics don't always show up in the next letter. I enjoyed seeing each character come to terms with the past individually while also recalling and describing their journey to the other. Even though they are separated we can see the love that they still have for each other. This book made me wish for an actual heartfelt letter in my mailbox rather than my usual mail.