"The Wednesday Letters"

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright

I picked this book off the shelf because of the word "letters" in the title. I love letter books! The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and 84,Charring Cross Road are two of my all time favorites. Then there's C.S.Lewis's Letters to Malcolm and The Screwtape Letters. Wonderful! There is just something special about a story that unfolds through letters. If you know of any other good ones do let me know.

The Wednesday Letters tells the story of two brothers and a sister who gather at the family Bed and Breakfast after both of their parents die in one night. They find boxes of letters written from their father to their mother every Wednesday of their married life. Some of the letters talk about the ordinary events of family life, some tell funny stories the children have never heard, and a few reveal secrets that shock them and forever change the way they see their family.

The main character is Malcolm, one of the brothers, but his two siblings are also major parts of the story. Secondary characters include an uncle (a recovered alcholic), a close family friend (with the strange name A&P), Malcolm's ex-girlfriend (Rain) and her fiance (Nathan) and a sister-in-law who doesn't enter the story till close to the end. Malcolm has been living out of the country for two years and when he comes home, his past, with it's romantic and legal problems, must be faced. The characters are realistic with both strengths and weaknesses. They are typical siblings in that they love each other, but they also know how to push each other's buttons and they do it often.

The opening is successful at getting your attention and setting the scene for the rest of the book. The story moves along quickly due to an abundance, but not an over abundance, of dialogue that flows well and feels natural. It turned out to be a quicker read than I had expected.

A quaint surprise for the reader is found inside the back cover. A sealed envelope labeled Epilogue contains a final letter. A nice touch, fun and original.

There were a couple of things I didn't like, but they were little things and didn't affect my enjoyment of the story. It's a little too gushy in one or two spots for my taste, and I found it odd that as well as the epilogue in the sealed envelope there was another one in the usual place at the end of the main story. I would have liked to see it structured a little better than that. Also the first couple of letters felt a bit contrived, containing details for the reader's benefit that made the writing feel unnatural.

I recommend The Wednesday Letters as an engaging, clean, easy to read book for just about anyone. It provides a pleasant three or four hours of reading, not particularly memorable, but worthy of the time you spend with it.


the dogs' mother said...

Very lucky to have my grandfather's letters to my grandmother that he wrote overseas during World War One.

Felicity Grace Terry said...

Joining you from over at the hop. An interesting blog, I've enjoyed visiting. Nice to meet you.

Kim said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. I normally post a little more often, but with 2 boys playing spring baseball, having multiple school spring concerts, and one of them getting ready to graduate in a week--life is stinkin' busy!! I have enjoyed visiting your blog also and have become a follower. :)

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