Book Review: The Last Letter From your Lover

The Last Letter From your Lover, by Jojo Moyes

I have been reading ARC’s (advance reading copies) on my Kindle for awhile now, and I have noticed an interesting phenomenon.  When so much of the physical information about a book is missing, you can’t be sure ahead of time what you are supposed to think about it.  Is it supposed to be “quality” literature?  Is it chick lit? Is it worthy of a hardcover debut?  Is it a romance novel?  It is fascinating to me how that lack of information about is freeing yet at the same time, so disorienting.  If no one is telling me how I should feel about this book, how do I feel about this book?

This comes up because when I started reading The Last Letter From your Lover I had NO IDEA what I should think about it.  I don’t want to be the idiot who describes a cheeseball romance novel as the next Pulitzer Prize candidate, and so you have to trust yourself a little bit more than you might usually,and you have to pay attention to the writing, above all else.  Which is perhaps for the best, after all.

So. I am not going to tell you that this is Pulitzer Prize material, (watch it win the Pulitzer Prize), but nevertheless, I really really liked it.  It’s got a romancey tone to it but it’s not a romance novel, and the writing is crisp and fresh and gives you that  nice British feeling without becoming ponderous or dull or somehow good for you, like a bran muffin.  Let’s be honest, the plot is a tidge far fetched at times, because this is a story about two lovers being separated over and over for 40 years and to accomplish that you sometimes have to reach a little bit, but the plot machinations didn’t do the story irreparable harm, and I really really liked the two main characters, Jennifer and Anthony.  I liked them, genuinely liked them, and that goes a long way.  (I read this after reading Water For Elephants and in my opinion this book was about a thousand times better than that nonsense, simply because these characters were interesting and funny and real.)

This is one of those nice books that gives you a little glimpse into a different world too.  I always prefer books where you hear what they are wearing.  What they packed when they finally left.  How much the train tickets cost and what the cars looked like and what her perfume smelled like and this book does all that window dressing so well.  I think the last book I read that did that this well were the Luxe books, and this could maybe be described as a grown up version of those books.  If you liked One Day and you liked the Luxe books I think you will definitely like The Last Letter From your Lover.

So, overall, very well written, interesting, funny,  and I was totally absorbed in it and antsy to get back to it until the last minute, when I wished it hadn’t ended. Can’t really ask for much more than that, can you?

{I read this for free on my Kindle through netgalley.com.  At no point did anyone associated with the publisher, netgalley, or amazon tell me what to write or when to write it. My opinions are my own.}

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2 Responses

  1. Lovely review! I’m always but always looking for book recommendations – I’d heard of this title but nothing about the book. It sounds intriguing!

  2. I often wonder this, because I always pick a book after reading a review or hearing a recommendation from a friend. I’m SURE I’m prepped, swayed even, by what I’ve heard about it, whether it’s a bestseller or award-winner.

    Perhaps I should try the Kindle??

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