Throwback Thursday is hosted by Renee@It’s Book Talk and is a way to share some of your old favorites as well as a way to share books that were published over a year ago that you are just now reading. You know, the ones that have been waiting patiently on your TBR list while you pile more and more books on top of them! These older books are usually much easier than new releases to find at libraries or elsewhere, which is why we all love them! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. If you’d just link back to her @ It’s Book Talk she’d so appreciate it!
I’m really excited that I found time to join in with TBT this week, especially since lately I’ve been reading some of the older books that have been sitting on my TBR for much longer than a year whenever I can get a chance between work and school. One of those books had been sitting on my TBR since 2012, and I finally just read it a few weeks ago! It was a wonderful choice, and I’m not sure why I waited so long to read this one since it was a magical love story by a masterful storyteller! My choice this week is:
The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes
Published January 10, 2008 by Pamela Dorman Books
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’.
I have loved every book that I have read by Jojo Moyes…Me Before You, Me After You, The Girl You Left Behind, One Plus One, Honeymoon in Paris, and Paris for One, and I have about 6 more of her books on my bookshelf waiting to be read. She is one author I would recommend without any reservations to anyone who loves stories that while often heartbreaking are also insightful, poignant, clever, and speak of the strength of the human spirit as well as its frailties.
Moyes is a consummate storyteller, and she excels at creating characters that are rich, fascinating, vibrant and more than anything so very real. Her plots are beautifully woven and masterful, and this is especially true in The Last Letter from Your Lover where she intertwines duel storylines of lovers spanning 40 years apart…forbidden love, neverending love, lost love, misguided love, passion, and loathing are all part of this story that centers around secretly written love letters that serendipitously brings the past and present together.
While I enjoyed both storylines, I was most in love with the story of Jennifer that begins in the 1960s and spreads over 40 years. She is beautiful, intelligent, polished, and married to a wealthy man who treats her as a trophy and little else. When readers meet her, she is recovering from a severe car accident and has no recollection of her life or who she really is but she does feel a sense of loss and no connection with her husband. It is as she begins to recover that she finds hidden love letters signed by “B” and understands she’s passionately in love with someone else and her memories begin to slowly return. These letters from her lover are absolutely breathtaking, and they remind you of why people long for the kind of love shared between Jennifer and Anthony (“Boot”) so desperately that they will go to great lengths to have it or in some cases convince themselves that they do have it when they don’t. I was rooting for them all the way and became heavily invested in their relationship. There were so many times that I was in tears because I had no idea what was going to happen…I actually didn’t know what was going to happen until almost the end of the book!
In the present, Ellie is also involved in an affair, but she is beginning to question if it is just a fling when she wants real love. When she finds one of the impassioned letters Anthony wrote Jennifer asking her to leave her husband, she is determined to find out what happened to the couple if only to prove to herself that forbidden affairs can have a happily ever after, and that she isn’t expecting too much or dreaming too big for wanting her lover to leave his wife and kids. Although I liked Ellie and I loved her job as a reporter, I didn’t love parts of her storyline as much since it seemed like she should just know for some reason that when a married man tells you never do this, only text him these times, never call him, ignores you repeatedly, and is only available on “his” terms that he is never leaving his wife and children. Still, I really did like Ellie a lot, and I loved how her storyline played out, especially since it had its own twist in the end that was quite lovely!
What I really enjoyed was how the story took these two very different women’s lives and brought them together since they each brought something unique and special into the other’s lives that was missing. It is such a beautiful book full of strong emotions even if it is heartbreaking at times. The beauty in Moyes writing is in her ability to tell a heartwrenching and breathtaking tale that will make you feel hopeful and alive at the same time. Highly recommended!