I bought this book when Amazon had the 3 for £10 offer to complete the 3 books (I had two ready in my basket). Funnily enough, the book arrived damaged and Amazon had to replace it (I am so grateful for quick replacement, I had a new book the next day and they didn’t require I return the damaged one, so I ended sharing that book with a friend).
I just have to say I didn’t know what to expect from this book at all. I hadn’t read another of her books before.
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they’re not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.
I wanted some light reading when I chose this book. I didn’t really know what I had just decided to do and how wrong I was going to be.
It is a light read in the sense of “you end up reading it in one seating and you don’t realise time has gone by”. But on the other hand it is anything but a light read. It is a book full of emotion.
Both Juliet and Declan are dealing with grief and issues stemming from it, having lost someone in their lives. The letters (and then emails) they start exchanging help them find themselves, and it gives them a safe space to talk about things they wouldn’t have otherwise.
The intricate details of relationships (and I am not talking specifically of romantic ones but just human ones) blew me away. Specially as you get to understand more about them alongside Juliet and Declan, and start to see things with new eyes just as they do. It also meant I kept asking myself if I wasn’t doing some of the same prejudice/ didn’t think of it that way kind of things in my own life.
One more thing I’d like to add is that this is a book about grief and loss, and it does so in a gentle way, full fo compassion, showing you grief is seen in many different ways, can affect many different aspects and show itself in many ways. Each one of us goes through it in a different way and we heal in different ways, and as we heal (or not) we may be ignoring the giref of someone else. Definitely an eye opener.
You go and read this book right now. Seriously, please read it. It is worth it. The only other book I know that deals with grief in such an interesting way is A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L’Engle and it’s “prequel/companion” The Arm of the Starfish. I also recommend you read them in the order mentioned despite the fact Arm of the Starfish is a prequel, mostly because part of the things Adam decides to do are influenced by what happens before but knowing why he does them changes a little the feel of the book. Either way, try both.
You can buy a copy of Letters to the Lost here. (Also, apparently there is a sequel on Rev’s story!)
Disclaimer: There is an Amazon Associates link, but if you choose to use them and buy from them, know that you’re just helping me buy more books and feed my reading needs. Book synopsis is from Good Reads.