Saturday, 17 July 2010
The Wednesday Letters - Jason F. Wright
Last week I received a Victorian Trading Co. cataloge in the mail. In it was this book, a book about a man who, on his wedding night, writes a letter to his wife promising to writer her a letter every Wednesday as long as they are both alive. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart, so that alone grabbed me. I read no more of the summary, and assumed this was a nonfiction book reprinting these letters. I downloaded the free sample chapter from Amazon (I love my Kindle), and was shocked to find it was fiction. However, the first chapter already had me crying, and I knew I had to read the rest.
Jack and Laurel Cooper own a Bed and Breakfast in Woodtock, Virgina. When they die (I won't tell you how, even though the Amazon review does...that was part of the beauty of the first chapter for me), their three adult children come home for the funeral. Samantha, the middle child, is a local police officer. Matthew, the oldest, is a businessman in the Northeast. The youngest, Malcolm, is on the run from the law, but risks comes home from Brazil for his parents' funeral.
The siblings find boxes of letters in the basement of their parents' bed and breakfast, and discover they are filled with decades' worth of letters from Jack to Laurel, written every Wednesday, whether they were in the same room, or in different areas of the country from each other.
While reading these letters, they discover secrets that threaten to tear the family apart. Not only must they deal with the death of both their parents, they must come to terms with the past before it destroys them. The three siblings have demons to face, dreams they have given up hope of ever attaining, and the letters - particularly Jack's final letters to each of them - help them find their paths in life.
Jack's letters, which are are funny, poignant, and heartbreaking, are peppered throughout the novel. I admit I cried several times while reading this book.
There are some religious themes throughout the book. I am not a religious person, so this doesn't really appeal to me. However, it was all written as part of the story, was not preachy, and did not detract from the overall novel, so I was able to overlook this.
The Wednesday Letters is a fast, easy read. It took me about three days to read it. Because of the simplicity, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars, but recommend it to anyone who wants a heartwarming tale of romance and redemption.