I have a goal to read a lot this month and a lot of free time, if I don't get sucked in to genealogy research. Today I finished a book I received through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book is about a man named William Woolf. He is an aspiring author who takes a job working at the Dead Letter Depot. The Dead Letter Depot is the place where lost mail is sent to. If an address label gets torn off or becomes unreadable, this is the place that tries to get your mail delivered. Of course, this aspect of the story piqued my interest immediately because I'm a snail mail nerd. William has a specific interest in letters that have been written to people they can never be delivered to- like God or Santa.
One day, William discovers a letter addressed to "My Great Love," written by a woman named Winter. The letter tells about how Winter is hoping to find her soulmate and, after finding a few of the letters at the Dead Letter Depot, William starts to wonder if he could be "the one." Unfortunately, William is unhappily married. The other side of the story tells about William's relationship with his wife Clare- how the relationship felt when it started, where it was now and where he hoped for it to be in the future.
In general, I liked the book, but wasn't really satisfied with the ending. There was one section of the book where Winter was writing about how communicating by letter, and how that is sometimes different than the way we communicate face to face. That really resonated with me. Although I try to be myself in all situations, there may be times where I am a little less reserved in my writing or times when I have the opportunity to think more before deciding what to write. I find that my letters are less shallow than chit chat I might have with people I don't know well. I also feel that I have come in contact with people that I might not have normally connected with through my letter writing.
One of the struggles that both William and Clare seem to have is wondering "what if" or wishing things were different. They wonder if it worth just giving up their marriage or working hard to fix their issues. Sometimes the call of "what could be" pulls them in direction to end things, but other times receiving what they thought they wanted has a negative impact on them.
I'm not sorry that I read the book, but I was hoping for more importance on the dead letters William was working with. Do you know of any snail mail related books? I've read a few that I like.
The Guernsey Literary& Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Anne Barrows. I still haven't seen the movie version of this. I always want to read the book first.
The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier- a woman inherits a trunk from a friend who dies unexpectedly. In that trunk, there are journals written by her friend. Not going to lie, when I write, my letters are specifically written to that 1 person. I found a bunch of letters from sailors in WWII, written to their family. (They were 3 brothers.) Although there was nothing secretive in there, I questioned if it was wrong to read them.
This one is actually not really about letters, but it just came out so I thought I'd put it here. I got this from Netgalley too. It's about a woman named Maddie who owns a community bookshop. She dies and her niece, Madeline, inherits the shop. It was a quick read and I enjoyed the characters a lot. If you like to read, this book has a lot of references to literature and the value of reading.
I really liked this one too, as I do anything by Nina Sankovitch. (We've exchanged a few letters.)
Next up: The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni. I've heard great things.