For an avid book reader, every single piece of literature is like an adventure that they embark upon. Amongst these adventures they stumble across some that they want to revisit again and again. It’s like you undertake the adventure and then you can simply just not banish the roads from your mind, it stays with you. “The Last Letter from your Lover”, by Jojo Moyes published in 2010, came across as a similar adventure for me. One that I simply wanted to last forever, one where I could just loose myself into the intense characters and their auras, where I sighed and smiled with the characters in their anguish and ease. One that I took time to endeavor bit by bit.
Jojo Moyes, Wikipedia informs me is one of the only few authors to have been given the Romantic Novel of the Year Award twice, by the Romantic Novelists’ Association; knits a beautiful symphony of words as she takes us back to the time of love letters. “The last Letter from your Lover” is based in two different eras, one is London of 1960; where one day a gorgeous housewife Jennifer Stirling wakes up in a hospital, after an accident, with a complete loss of memory. Searching for clues about herself she finds an impassioned letter from a man she feels complete loyalty to, but alas she remembers nothing else about him. She discovers a series of love letters that take the reader deep into the world of Jennifer Stirling and makes us yearn for what she has lost, as she copes day to day with her cold and dated husband. And the other era is London of 2003, where a young journalist Ellie Hawthorn, in the middle of her struggle between her personal and professional life discovers Jennifer Stirling’s love letters and sets to find out what happened to the lovers.
The story is both hopelessly yet hopefully romantic at the same time. The book takes the reader very carefully through the journey of forbidden love, yet informs them how love cannot and should not be the only thing defining someone’s decision to live a wholesome happy life. It presents the perspective of all the sides of the story and makes the reader understand why someone would end up being pulled into the vicious cycle of hurt and in the end all it takes is one realization to make it all right. The highlight of the book of course are the love letters that Boot has written for Jennifer, that haunt her over the years informing her of his passion yet offering her nothing but chances that have been missed. Boots spills his heart in the letters making me stop reading and actually estimate the gravity with which his words fall all around you;
“I ask you not to judge me for my weakness. The only way I can endure is to be in a place where I will never see you, never be haunted by the possibility of seeing you with him. I need to be somewhere where sheer necessity forces you from my thoughts minute by minute, hour by hour, I cannot do that here.”
“And if you feel your decision was the right one. Know this at least: that somewhere in this world is a man who loves you, who understands how precious and clever and kind you are. A man who has always loved you and, to his detriment, suspects he always will.
Talking of passion, one thing that particularly strikes me in all of Jojo Moyes books and this one too, is the core of each character. They are all so neatly carved out and presented that makes them relatable. The characters are not black or white, they are grey the reader is satisfied with how each character acts and can justify how things went for each of them. There isn’t a single person who makes an appearance in the story line and doesn’t tug at the reader’s heart.
“I’d like to hope you end up a miserable, lonely woman. But actually, I hope you have children one day, Ellie Haworth. Then you’ll know how it feels to be vulnerable. And to have to fight, to be constantly vigilant, just to make sure your children get to grow up with a father.”
I have tried my best to not give away any spoilers here, but I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever been a fan of classic English romance and above all if you want to have the characters living and breathing around you this book should be your next stop in the journey of reading. Have a great day!!!