These books showcase the power and passion of writing letters.
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (hardcover, Dial Press, 2008, 277 pages, $22). Juliet Ashton, a 33-year-old author, writes to her publisher expressing her desire to stop covering the aftermath of WWII, but Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams invites neighbors to write to Juliet with their stories, which puts her off at first but eventually helps her find inspiration for her next book, and her life.
“The Letters,” by Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger (hardcover, Bantam Books, 2008, 200 pages, $22). Sam and Hadley West are both trying in their own ways to survive after the unthinkable loss of their only son in Alaska. For Sam, acceptance means an arduous trek by dogsled across the Arctic wilderness to find the place where Paul died. For Hadley, it means renting a cottage off the Maine coast where she begins to paint again. Now, at opposite ends of the country, waiting for their divorce to be finalized, they begin to exchange letters by post, missives filled with longing and truths they’ve never before voiced, as they recall their marriage — its magic moments and its challenges — and begin to rediscover the reasons they fell in love in the first place.
“The Little Women Letters,” by Gabrielle Donnelly (hardcover, Simon & Schuster, 2010, 358 pages, $25). Lulu Atwater, stuck in a rut and feeling like a failure compared to her two older sisters, comes across a cache of letters in the attic written by her great-great-grandmother Josephine March and finds solace and guidance as she reads the homey details of the March sisters’ lives.
“Dear Mr. President: Letters to the Oval Office from the Files of the National Archives,” by Dwight Young (hardcover, National Geographic, 2005, 191 pages, $20). Amusing, appalling, heartbreaking, and heartwarming letters to the president of the U.S. from famous people and everyday citizens alike, all with the same goal: to connect with the man in charge. Whether writing about a newsworthy event or something more personal, these letters express a deep connection with the Oval Office and the men who occupy it.
“Other People’s Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See,” edited by Bill Shapiro (hardcover, Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2007, 192 pages, $22.50). Bill Shapiro has searched America’s attics, closets and cigar boxes and found actual letters — unflinchingly honest missives full of lust, provocation, guilt and vulnerability — written only for a lover’s eyes.
Books provided by the Stark County District Library. www.starklibrary.org