#BookReview: The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

BLURB:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Giver of Stars, a sophisticated, page-turning double love story spanning forty years and an unforgettable Brief Encounter for our times

It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, asking her to leave her husband.

Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper’s archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie’s search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.

A spellbinding, intoxicating love story with a knockout ending, The Last Letter from Your Lover will appeal to the readers who have made One Day and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society bestsellers.

Is it so easy to fall in love with another man when your marital life is like a flat line?

MY REVIEW:

I loved the book though reading about infidelity and extramarital affairs is not something I enjoy. But this one, I think it’s the way it is written that touched my heart.

Our main character: Jennifer Stirling is a wife of a rich business tycoon Lawrence Stirling, and her only job in her husband’s life is to look decorative. All she wanted from her husband was to respect her, which Lawrence failed to provide. Despite all the luxury and extravagant life, Jennifer’s life was like a porcelain doll, sitting primly in the drawing and smiling.

The story moves to her current life, where Jennifer finds herself on a hospital bed. She is told that she has lost her memory and doesn’t seem to recall anything from her past.

Until she finds a letter in one of the books in her house. Something sparks in Jennifer’s heart and she tries hard to pick up the crumbs from her past and forgotten life by looking for more letters.

The story switches back to Jennifer’s past life where she meets Anthony O’Hare, a freelance journalist, who has visited French Riveria to write an interview on Lawrence Stirling. The absence of Lawrence and the enthralling presence of Anthony sweeps Jennifer off her feet. Someone is talking to her, making her laugh and giddy with joy–that her husband failed to do.

“It never ended. Even though she’d thought she’d covered her heart with a permanent porcelain shell, he still found a way to chip at it.”

He writes beautiful letters to Jennifer, to which any woman would fall. But Anthony isn’t playing around. He notices that she is living a life where her existence doesn’t matter to her husband and Anthony wants her to know her worth.

“You and I could no more not love each other than the earth could stop circling the sun.”

Here, I find Jennifer a bit selfish. When Anthony asks her to run away with him to NY, she steps back. This life, this luxury– she would put everything at stake if she leaves with Anthony. Though she regrets, later on, I believe if she loved Anthony so much, she’d not considered regretting her lavish lifestyle.

There are some points in the story that I don’t agree with. When they meet after four years, and Jennifer decides to return to him, why did he hide from her? Despite the regret, that he’d be responsible for Jennifer and her daughter without a father, Anthony should have stayed in touch. Jennifer’s husband was a famous man. When Lawrence died after two years of their separation, wouldn’t Anthony know that Jennifer is free? That he can now return to her.

Is it because there was a lack of communication between them that they stayed apart for forty years?

I have so many questions about the story but in the end, I loved it. I loved Anthony’s letters, pouring out his heart to her. I loved the complicated relationship between Ellie and her lover.

There is a LOT to debate! But I’d still give it five stars! 🙂

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