Book Review: Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing b
ack. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they’re not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet.
Letters to the Lost:
I received an arc of Letter to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer from Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
I was really looking forward to reading this one, the synopsis from the get go capture me, and then I picked it up – and loved it. The writing is beautiful, the concept intriguing and the characters enthralling. They too me on an emotional ride.
Letter to the Lost follows protagonist Juliet and Declan – both who have lost so much and feel like they are lost in this big world. They are closed off, they are hidden. Then something happens. They start writing letters to one another – but they don’t know who the other person is.
Juliet was a hard protagonist was hard to get along with. She has a lot of issues and she projects them in a way that may distant the reader from her. At times she has a very entitled way of thinking – and I think it’s because this is the first time something big has happened in her life. And it’s hurt her – hurt her a lot. In saying that, I understood her and I loved how she grew throughout the novel, how she learnt.
Declan on the other hand is amazing – like can he be mine? Please. He like Juliet is hurt, and feels like his alone in life – like he doesn’t have someone to talk to, that there isn’t someone that cares. Declan has this demeanour about him that creates this façade, and people only see him for that. And he acts to that. He thinks that because people see him that way – he should act that way.
The romance – holy, it was so adorable. I loved the notion of writing letters and not knowing who the other person is. And that the person that you are writing to is someone that you least expect. I adored how much Juliet and Declan understood each other. They have both been hurt, but together they can heal. It’s not ‘love’ that is healing, but the understanding. I also loved that it was slow burning. And even though they got to know each other from letters – it was still real.
Family, was a big theme is Letter to the Lost. Both Juliet and Declan have somewhat dysfunctional families. But, not in a harmful sense. It’s the fact that heartbreak and death have torn both of their families a part. I loved the growing relationship between Juliet and her father. At the start it’s very fragile, but as the story goes on and Juliet starts to deal with her grief, they start to rebuild. Declan also has a very rocky relationship with his mother – but it’s all to misunderstand and things left unsaid.
Another big theme of Letter to the Lost is friendship. And I loved both of the protagonist’s friendships. Juliet friendship were again rocky because of her dealing with grief, but as the novel goes on we see her rely on her friend and trust in her. Rev is Declan’s ‘best friend’. Can he be mine? He created this light in a very dark and emotional book. And guess what? He is getting his own book. I cannot wait to delve into this mind and really see what he is thinking. Because Rev has his own demons.
Letter to the Lost like most contemporaries is character driven and although there is some plot movement, it’s more about understand and grief. I also loved that the characters had likes and interest. I liked they were not all about their grief, but so much more.
Overall, Letter to the Lost is an emotional read. It’s a story about grief and dealing with those who you have lost. It’s about understanding that sometimes aren’t what you think they are. It explores the notion of family, friendship and finding yourself. It’s heartfelt, heartbreaking, but also uplifting. It’s one for the tissues.
Have you read Letters to the Lost? What did you think of it? Are you planning on reading it anytime soon? Have you read any other books by Brigid Kemmerer. Let’s Chat!