Friday, July 22, 2011

The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel by Jojo Moyes

The Last Letter from Your Lover: A NovelGoodreads: A sophisticated, page-turning double love story spanning forty years-an unforgettable Brief Encounter for our times. 

It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply "B", asking her to leave her husband.

Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper's archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie's search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.

A spellbinding, intoxicating love story with a knockout ending, 
The Last Letter from Your Lover will appeal to the readers who have made One Day and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society bestsellers.

My take: I am trying to decide why I liked this book. I don't think it was necessarily the story although I appreciated the way the author put a face with the players in the marriage and the other woman. I'm going to have to go with the writing style was simply very enjoyable and I really liked many of the characters. Actually, I was particularly drawn to the characters of the earlier story and then their later story; Jennifer, Anthony and even the peripheral players like Jennifer's social circles. I never particularly took to Ellie or her conflict. I did like Rory and I definitely liked the librarian.

There are a number of different time periods that need to be watched with this book. The first part toggles between pre and post accident. Watch that one or you might be confused. It's only a matter of a couple of months but the accident is a game changer.

I've got to be honest in that I didn't love the story itself. I loved the way the story was told. It's not one I would recommend to a book club from my congregation but there are greater truths to be gleaned from the book.  It's a story of a woman who married within her station in life. She is to be arm candy to a successful career man. She's beautiful and intelligent which she is not allowed to be in this time period. She meets Anthony, a foreign affairs correspondent who had a nervous breakdown in Africa. They begin a torrid affair and love letters are exchanged. Bad timing and poor communication (some intercepted) put the affair on the back burner.

2003 brings us to Ellie, a journalist currently having a torrid affair with John, a married man with two children. She wants the dream. John wants the affair. Ellie finds the letters and does investigative work. She's in trouble with her boss because she's so distracted thanks to her boyfriend, John. Ultimately, I loved the ending. I loved the face attached to John's wife, providing Ellie with a person to see when she slept with her this woman's husband. I loved her act of redemption.

Solid 3.75 stars.


alyssa said...

Your blog is awesome :)

Alexis @ Reflections of a Bookaholic said...

This sounds so intriguing. I think I'll like any book where I like the characters. Thanks for the introduction.

Bonnie said...

I've had my eye on this book for a little while and will be reading it soon. I love when I like and can connect with the characters, sounds like a solid foundation to me!

Bonnie @ HandsAndHome