The Wednesday Letters
Jason F. Wright
Jack and Laurel died the same night after almost 40 years of marriage. They ran a bed and breakfast in the Shenandoah area of Virginia and were special to everyone who knew them. Their three children, Matthew, Samantha, and Malcolm, now come together for their final rites. It's the first time they've been together in over two years since Malcolm left the country unexpectedly for Brazil.
One is the first things they discover is a stash of letter Laurel had kept all their married lives. Jack started writing her a letter on the wedding night in 1948 and wrote one every week after that, usually on Wednesdays. Soon they were reading about their parent's lives from their father's point of view.
Any marriage that has lasted that long isn't without a problem no matter how happy the couple is. The three grown children discover an astounding secrets about their parents. As they prepare for the services and the funeral, meet all the people wanting to give condolences, wait for their aunt and uncle, and all the other tasks involved with a funeral, they find themselves questioning their family's grounding and even wondering who they are in this new reality.
The Wednesday Letters is a book full of joy and pathos. It has the same schmaltzy (and I like some schmaltz in my life) that Nicholas Evans, Nicholas Sparks, or Mitch Albom display in their novels. Jason F. Wright kept this novel short, leaving the reader wanting to know more about the Cooper family. I would have liked it to be longer and a bit more in depth, with more character development, but that may have ruined the poignancy.
The book has some shortcomings, especially around the incident that caused Malcolm to flee in the first place. The characters don't have a chance to become as real as I'd like. Even so, The Wednesday Letters is a wonderful feel good novel that addresses real life problems with a deft touch.
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These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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