Tuesday, 24 August 2010
The Last Letter from your Lover - JoJo Moyes
In 1960, Jennifer wakes up in hospital after a car accident. She can't remember anything – her husband, her friends, who she used to be. And then, when she returns home, she uncovers a hidden letter, and begins to remember the lover she was willing to risk everything for.
Ellie and Jennifer's stories of passion, adultery and loss are wound together in this richly emotive novel – interspersed with real 'last letters'.
The Last Letter From Your Lover is very cleverly written, from flashes back to 1960 and then back to the present day, swapping effortlessly through chapter breaks headed by letters, texts and messages. It tells an intriguing story of both Jennifer’s and Ellie’s loves, hopes and fears in two very different ways, yet in two very similar situations. How timing and decisions made can change the route of life for better or worse. How angst can turn to amour – how lust can turn to love. How life can turn a corner as quick as I turned over the next page.
I may write the darkest, bloodiest scenes in my crime thrillers but I’m a romantic at heart. The Last Letter from Your Lover made me think how wonderful it would be to receive a love letter like the ones that Jennifer received. Not texts. Not emails that you can read anything into any word or sentence that is typed. Not instant messages or conversations via a twitter feed. Life is so fast now, no time for real conversation. So wouldn’t it be great to curl up in a chair after waiting for the postman to arrive, relishing opening a proper envelope with words written on paper that you could clutch to your heart once you’d devoured their meaning?
Remember the recent cover version of ‘She’s Always a Woman to Me’ by Fyfe Dangerfield. Then recall the advert that John Lewis ran with it. But don’t think of the words, think of the raw, heart felt, emotion of the song and the advert. My eyes teared up the first time I saw the advert, I must admit. Add them together and that, for me, is how I feel about The Last Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes. Everyone should have a Boot.