Love Letters to the Dead — Good Luck Keeping Nostalgia at Bay.

Book Cover via USA today site
One of the perks of writing a blog for a bibliophile like myself is being asked to review books.  For a long time, I dreamt of being asked; it turns out that Disney is occasionally right: dreams do come true so welcome to my first review!

Before we start, I’d like to come clean about the fact that I’ve never written a review before. The closest things I’ve done were book reports, back in the dark ages, pre-google, pre-internet, pre-home computers, and cordless phones! The other odd thing is that I hated book reports and I still stay away from reviews. I like going in blind. So here I go, clueless, but attempting to write the sort of review I’d like to read.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira is the story of a young girl, Laurel, who has lost her sister. She processes both her grief and coming of age by confiding in people long gone through a series of letters. There’s a nice and sometimes surprising selection of recipients and you’ll likely find yourself overflowing with nostalgia and dusting off some Nirvana CDs.

The novelty of the letters wears off fairly quickly and at first I thought this made a nice YA –aka Young Adult– novel. But, like any glass of young red wine, you need to give it time to breath. As you move through the book, the depth of the story reveals itself and some real gems surface. Possibly my favorite line, one that will likely live with me for years to come is:

The thing about traditions is that they hold up the shape of your memory

Love Letters to the Dead beautifully captures the idealism and naïvety of childhood coupled with the untainted and often profound realisations we make through our metamorphosis to adulthood. I was able to travel back to a state of mind I thought lost forever.

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