50 in 2012: Book Twenty Five

The Last Letter from Your LoverThe Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jennifer Sterling wakes up in a hospital with no memory of who she was just moments before: her name, what she was doing, who the man is sitting next to her bed…

In the days following her accident, she begins to piece together fragments of what must have been her life, but she never quite feels as though it all makes sense. There always seems to be something missing, something big. As she begins to place faces and feelings, she realizes there is in fact something missing; however, in 1960 one’s name and reputation trumps happiness and marital issues are often pushed aside in order to maintain one’s social standing. While riffling through her closet, searching for clues as to whom she really was, she discovers a passionate letter signed by a simple initial, “B”. In it, a plea to her to run away, follow her heart, and leave all she has ever known behind…

But she can’t remember anything. The initial doesn’t spark any memories. Who is this man? What was she doing with him? Did she really love him? As she embarks on a journey to discover answers, she finds herself forced to make impossible decisions.

And then the author switches to a new, modern story line. Jennifer Sterling’s story ends, without resolution, and we meet Ellie Haworth, a struggling journalist. It is now 2003, she finds the old letter and desperately wants to know what happened.

Ellie’s search for answers weaves the two story lines together. Ellie feels as though the letters speak to her and her own personal problems. Jennifer’s courage and strength inspires her to do what she needs to do. The words penned on the letter by this mysterious “B” are the most beautiful and passionate she’s ever read…

An interesting look at how modern day texting and e-mailing has replaced handwritten letters and often times, more poetic and heartfelt language. The dynamics of marriage, relationships, and monogamy are also explored: is cheating by a man different from that of a woman? I go back and forth about to rate this book. I loved most of it but there were some questionable gaps and story choices that leave lingering questions…I definitely couldn’t put it down. I had to know what happened and what Jennifer Sterling was doing on the day she ended up in the hospital, nearly losing her life…

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