Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Love Letter

By Cathleen Schine, this novel is a delight to the senses! Helen MacFarquhar owns a little bookstore in a small seaside town with everything just as she likes it; she is a divorcee, mother to an eleven -year -old daughter away at camp, and very much in control of herself and her life. Then an anonymous love letter arrives in her mail, and becomes an obsession. Who is it for? Who is it from? When does passion become love? As she uncharacteristically begins an affair with one of her employees, she gets a chance to answer this last question. Shine's writing is rich and descriptive. The book perhaps depends a little too much on sex and "f*** you", but the writing is strong despite that.

It left me wondering what to do with the love letters my husband and I wrote to each other during our courtship. Some are chaste and sweet, some are graphic and yearning; but all are permanent. How embarrassed will be the people who find these letters when we are gone? Is that my business? Should the letters be kept for posterity, or should they be destroyed and remembered fondly? What if I lose my memory, or my husband? So much to consider.

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