Synopsis: I usually write my own synopsis for the books I review, but for this particular book I’m going to use the synopsis that is on the back of the book:
In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing – not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, from a man whom she seemed willing to risk everything.
In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon an old letter containing a man’s ardent plea to his married lover. She becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to the couple. Perhaps if they lived happily ever after, her own complicated affair could have a happy ending, too. A Brief Encounter for our time, this is a novel for romantics of every age.
Review: I liked this book, but doubt I’ll remember it for all that long after reading it.
The Last Letter From Your Lover tells of doomed lovers Jennifer and Boot. In the 1960s, Jennifer is married to an unkind man involved with asbestos, and begins to have an affair with war correspondent Boot. In 2003 (231 pages into the book), journalist Ellie discovers Boot and Jennifer’s love letters, and Ellie goes on the hunt to find out what happened to the lovers.
This was a fine book, I was actually really into the book at first, and I was desperate to know what happened to Jennifer and Boot. Do they wind up together? Was I going to spend the book crying like Me Before You (another Moyes book)? I was so desperate that I peeked at the last page. OK fine. I read the whole last chapter. And that killed the book for me. Well, not killed exactly, but that unknown, that mystery was now lost.
Once I read the ending, I relaxed into the book and didn’t feel the need to rush through it. Which was great. But then, I was so relaxed it took me 20 days to read the thing.
Part of my problem with this book was the pacing and the way it was organized. In reading the synopsis above, you’d think this was a back-and-forth-style book with sections in the 1960s and sections in 2003. Well, yes and no. The book starts out in the 1960s and doesn’t get to the 2003 section until page 231. I really wish that we‘d gotten more back-and-forth at the beginning of the book. Perhaps start it off with one mysterious, romantic 1960s scene, then flash to 2003, and work backwards.
I dunno. The pacing felt off. The first part of the book was all Jennifer and Boot and was very romantic, and then the second half was Ellie obsessing over her married lover and searching for information about the discovered love letters. So, the stronger half is definitely the first part.
But, even though the stronger half is back in the 60s with Jennifer and Boot, I connected with Ellie in 2003 far more than either Jennifer or Boot. Jennifer was too cold, too calm and collected. And Boot was fine; I just didn’t feel a spark. Ellie was interesting and I wanted her to succeed at her job and in life, but she kept making bad decisions.
So, all in all, The Last Letter From Your Lover held my interest, and I’ll definitely read more by Jojo Moyes. I like the way that she writes, and her plots always sound so interesting. There were a lot of different things going on in this book, perhaps a few too many plots. I enjoyed it, but I don’t think I’ll remember this for long.
Bottom Line: A fine, forgettable read.
You might like to read:
- The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger: A love story that goes back and forth in time (literally!) as this one involves, yep you guessed it, time travel.
- Me Before You by Jojo Moyes: This is the better book, but be warned! Read with a box (or two) of Kleenex close by! Read my review here.
- Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks: A sweet love story involving adults.
- The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon: A love story that is told over years.
Have you read The Last Letter From Your Lover? What did you think? Are there any other JoJo Moyes books I should read?