There is a reason why Jojo Moyes is by far my favorite author. I wish I could write well enough to give her the proper introduction, but what I feel is far from what I can express with words. Her writing pulls me in so much that I find myself thinking of her books for days after I stopped reading, and even though sometimes I absolutely hate her during the reading, I cannot stop reading. She is one of those authors that is not afraid to choose the harder path. I absolutely love her multidimensional characters, beautiful language, and her ability to brilliantly describe the settings. Interested? Read the book review below.
In one sentence: The Last letter from your lover is an incredibly immersive story that will make you want to curse destiny over and over again.
Title: The Last Letter from your Lover
Author: Jojo Moyes
Genre: Romance, Fiction
Length: Novel, 390 pages
Published: 1. February 2011, by Hodder & Stoughton Ltd
I’ve read a few Jojo’s books and they are rarely considered light reading, at least the ones I read so far, yet the title of this one promised an easy read that I wasn’t prepared to have when I bought the book. I felt weird bringing it with me – I have this obnoxious habit of bringing a book everywhere I go, even when I go for an evening drink. I think that I judged this one by it’s cover, and wrongly so. I started twice, and quit both times. I think some books just need the right time.
It took me 6 more months to sit down, and start again, and this time I couldn’t put the book down.
The author did an amazing job with combining just the right amount of both stories. I absolutely hate it when writers keep switching between different times all the time and they let you hang there like you’re a piece of clothing on a rag. There is a lot of going back and forth, but the author sticks with one main character and her story long enough to make it interesting. By reading the first few words in a new chapter gave me a clear idea of where I was in the lives of the characters, and which perspective I’m reading. Brilliantly.
Short synopsis from Goodreads:
When journalist Ellie looks through her newspaper’s archives for a story, she doesn’t think she’ll find anything of interest. Instead she discovers a letter from 1960, written by a man asking his lover to leave her husband – and Ellie is caught up in the intrigue of a past love affair. Despite, or perhaps because of her own romantic entanglements with a married man.
In 1960, Jennifer wakes up in hospital after a car accident. She can’t remember anything – her husband, her friends, who she used to be. And then, when she returns home, she uncovers a hidden letter, and begins to remember the lover she was willing to risk everything for.
Ellie and Jennifer’s stories of passion, adultery and loss are wound together in this richly emotive novel – interspersed with real ‘last letters’.
If I would have to choose which story I like better, I would choose Jennifer’s. It’s more tragic in a way, but the way it was described it felt like I was there, living Jennifer’s life. I understood her actions, where I didn’t completely understood Ellie’s. Moyes even managed to pull the memory loss which is my most hated subject, and made it into interesting search for the truth.
I love it how I can see the answers here and there, connect little details before she reveals them in the story, and in other cases the complete opposite when I am taken aback by the events as they unfold in front of me.
One thing I love about Jojo Moyes is that she is not afraid to write about the “difficult themes”.
Divorce in 1960, a secret relationship, mistresses and lovers … what is right and what is wrong? How can you shut off your feelings when everything in your body is pulled to another person even if you are not supposed to be?
“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.”
Independence of a woman, or women in general. Standing on your two feet, making a life for yourself, and showing the world what you can do.
Betrayal of the worst part, when you betray yourself, a spouse, a friend.
“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.”
A horrible ironic way of destiny’s way that feels like someone is mocking you. Damn you life! Sometimes you can be so cruel.
Beauty of handwritten letters. I still have some at home from my teen years, and they are so precious to me. I can imagine how Jennifer felt receiving them, and Ellie reading them all those years later. There is something so magical in the whole process of taking time, sitting down, and writing the words for someone on a piece of paper.
“I was once told by someone wise that writing is perilous as you cannot always guarantee your words will be read in the spirit in which they were written.”
And last but definitely not least, the impact that other people have on our “destiny”. No matter what we think, we are not always the only ones that shape our future. Sometimes we are merely puppets in ones story, sometimes even in our own.
I recommend this book with ease, and ask you to not judge the book by it’s title. The title indicates a chick lit, but this book is so much more. It has so many layers that you can uncover in the hours that you’ll spend reading it. It might give you another perspective on love, especially when you’ll want the two to get together, and will probably forget that Jennifer is married. Sometime life just isn’t fair.
And sometimes it is. At least in the end.
Learn more about Jojo Moyes.
Until next time, let me know what you’re reading