Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Book Review: The Last Letter from Your Lover, by Jojo Moyes


Remember, waiting for the postman to deliver that one letter that sets your heart racing like a galloping horse? Remember, reading the words and savoring the words, knowing they were written only for you? 

Bring back the memories of love
When you pick up Jojo Moyes' novel, The Last Letter from Your Lover, you open yourself to a lot of memories in your life. Sometimes, a handful of words can bring back treasured moments of words back to your heart's nest. At other times, words can hurt. We know that when some one's words hurt us but we don't always realize that our words hurt others too. This book isn't preachy but it makes us wish that we could begin writing those letters all over again. Make our hearts rhyme and be young again.

The best part of the book is that the beginning of each chapter is headed by a real life message/update/sms that one lover sent the other while breaking up. It's touching at times, funny and mean at other times and then, overall, am wonderstruck that people can actually say things like this to each other while breaking up!

A Story of Forbidden Love
The story begins with Ellie, a dissatisfied young journalist, who becomes drawn into an old letter that she stumbles onto while searching for a feature story in the archives section. She finds a bunch of these letters written by a beautiful married woman called Jennifer Stirling, wife of a wealthy industrialist, and addressed to Anthony, a playboy reporter who covers foreign affairs.  

Their letters captivate Ellie, whose affair with a married man, is bringing her nothing but unhappiness and misery. Through these letters, Ellie realizes that the problems faced by those in love hadn't changed with time, they still recurred in new avatars, one way or the other but the treatment had changed. Once upon a time, it was these letters, poignant with poetry and pure romance, that lent a sanctity and irrepressible beauty to the concept of love. But now, people break up through curt smses or Facebook updates instead. Without meaning to, Ellie goes in search of these two people and unites them despite the odds.

Love Letters  of Yesteryears
From one of the letters given in the book:

"I am not as strong as you. When I first met you, I thought you were a fragile little thing, some one I had to protect. Now I realize I had us all wrong. You are the strong one, the one who can endure living with the possibility of a love like this and the fact that we'd never be alowed it..."

"I need to be somewhere where sheer necessity forces you from my thoughts minute by minute, hour by hour. That cannot happen here...I am going to take that job..."


Masterly in its narrative, Jojo Moyes' novel, The Last Letter from Your Lover,  urges us to write to those whom we love and reminds us that the power of the written word is tremendous because once written, it lives forever. Make the written words count for you and speak to the world about who you really are. It's time to write and love again. 

Again, from the book:

"Your words, your emotions have induced a greed in me.  Can we ask for so much? Do i dare see you again? The fates have been so unforgiving, some part of me believes we cannot meet...."

When Ellie finds and unites the not-so-young lovers, I particularly loved this line by Jojo Moyes, "The best journalists know when to bow out of a story."

This book is a must-read, unputdownable book for any person who gives heart and soul into nurturing relationships truly. You've got to read it.

Would love to know your thoughts, dear friends.

5 comments:

Tan said...

It seems the book is really touching...the power of writing is also highlighted in novels by Nicholas Sparks who writes mainly about love and relationsships... will read 'The Last Letter from Your Lover'.

Raji said...

As usual, good review from you Swapna! I am going to read this book for sure :-)

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

@Tan - Yes, absolutely. Nicholas Sparks is a fine writer. His books are so touching. Nights at Rodanthe is one of my all time favorites.

@Raji - Thanks Raji, I hope you do!

harimohan said...

thanks Swapna Good review
will try to get a copy and read it

true writing is a powerful medium and leave lasting memories if expressed with creativity be in love or devotion

Portugal said...

This is a charming relationship drama starring an incredible cast especially the two letter writers and the reporter who investigates their tale. Character driven, fans will relish this bittersweet romance as love proves not enough yet lasts forever in spite of time and place separation. Jojo Moyes provides a wonderful story that romanticists will relish.

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