The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes
|The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes|
|Category: Women's Fiction|
|Reviewer: Ruth Ng|
|Summary: Addictive and extremely readable story of letters and lost love that had me eagerly reading right to the end.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 496||Date: July 2010|
|Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton|
I do love a story that wraps me up completely within its little world, making me want to ignore my long list of things to do and just curl up reading all day. Jojo Moyes' new novel certainly managed it. I felt transported back to the 1960's, entirely caught up in the characters' lives, riding their highs and lows alongside of them, and I ended up desperately foisting my just-woken-up toddler onto my husband so that I could just read the last four pages without her hanging off my arm!
This story is written with two intertwining story lines, set in the 1960's and the present day. Ellie is a features writer on a newspaper and whilst trawling through the archives in search of a story she discovers a letter from 1960 written by a man asking his lover to leave her husband. Ellie herself is in a rather messy romantic relationship with a married man, and perhaps because of this the letter works its way into her heart and she decides to investigate further. Meanwhile back in the 1960's, Jennifer has awoken from a car accident unable to remember anything - her husband, her friends, even what sort of a person she is herself. When she returns home she discovers a hidden letter that reveals she had a lover, and she too begins to investigate into who this man was that she was willing to risk losing everything for in order to be with him.
I wasn't sure, as I began to read, whether this would be a good book. Ellie is one of those awkward characters, and over the first few pages I thought 'Hmm, I don't like you very much!' hence I knocked off half a star. But then the story soon moves on to Jennifer, and from the first moment of reading about her I was hooked. Her amnesia is described brilliantly. You can feel her frustration at not knowing who she is, or who anyone else is. You can sense her fear as she goes back to her home but realises she doesn't know where anything is, where the bathroom is, where she keeps her clothes, what sort of things she would choose to wear to which function. She can't remember what sort of a person she was, so has no idea how to act around her friends. And of course there's her trepidation around her husband who is, to all intents and purposes, a stranger to her. Due to the era, and her class, she is basically encouraged to keep quiet and get on with things, leaving her floundering in a life that feels entirely alien to her. As the reader you have a little more information than Jennifer about her situation but, essentially, we find out what's going on at the same time as she does, which makes it an exciting read as you urge her to uncover the truth.
When the book went back to Ellie later on I found that I felt a little more charitable towards her, and although she's still being rather blind in her relationship she endeared herself to me more, and I didn't spend her pages wishing we were back with Jennifer's story instead. I felt quite emotional through much of the book, and my frenzy over the last few pages to discover what finally happened didn't leave me disappointed. I won't say much more because I know I'll end up ruining the story for you! Suffice it to say that this is a wonderful, emotional book - just make sure you put aside enough time to sit down and enjoy it uninterrupted. A week on a beach somewhere sunny should just about do nicely!
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.
Further reading suggestion: Another great book by Jojo Moyes you might like to try Night Music.
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You can read more book reviews or buy The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes at Amazon.com.
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