|Book Reveiw 7-23
Sunday, December 7, 2008
By Denise Turney
The first chapters into The Wednesday Letters the book had a familiar ring to it. As it explored the love shared between the older couple that much of the events in the story center around I was reminded of The Bridges of Madison County. The difference this time was that there was no journal and no National Geographic magazines to help recount a passionate love affair. Instead there are letters from a husband (Jack) to his wife (Laurel) of many years. He started writing the letters early on in their union. Every Wednesday – he pens his beloved wife a letter. Many of the letters speak to simple things about the passing week: time spent with their children, how much he appreciates some seemingly trivial act of kindness she has recently shown him or how much he realizes she overlooks things he says and does that get on her nerves. Yet, The Wednesday Letters is more than a romantic love story centered around Laurel and Jack. The book goes much deeper and expands out much broader than that. It shows how a Jack and Laurel’s love influence and impact – in ways that will last forever – the lives of their children, their family at large, their friends and other people in the community where they live.
Laurel and Jack have three children: Matthew, Malcolm and Samantha. Well beyond their teens during the course of the story, all three have become firmed-up in their ways of thinking and in their behavior. They have, in a nutshell, become who they are. The boys are often at odds. Howbeit, they appreciate their sister and find it easy to get along with her which often finds her in the role of peacemaker. What ensues after an early, deeply moving event in the book sets the stage for what becomes of the siblings and why.
Through conversation and conflict The Wednesday Letters shapes its main characters and many of its secondary characters fully. There were times when I thought the story delved too long into the motivations for one to two of the characters, but by the time I reached the end of the book it all made sense. I came away with the realization that this is one of the most well paced stories I have read in awhile. Because the characters personalities are wide and varied, many readers are sure to find pieces of themselves leaping off the pages as they read this story. The ending is perfect after having read the earlier parts of the story. Jason Wright is a talented and gifted writer. Were he not th e ending would feel surreal, but Wright is that good. He pulls it off masterfully and as he does he helps readers to be enlightened and maybe even make upward changes in their own lives.
One of the greatest benefits I gained from reading The Wednesday Letters was the reminder that each of us has a rich story that influences our lives, our feelings and our thoughts. We aren’t bits of clay stuck here on earth walking out the script to someone else’s plot. And because of that we all matter – incredibly.
This is a story that uses several letters which make up about five percent of the book from a loving husband to his loving wife. There are events mentioned in the letters that connect the rest of the story and the characters. The Wednesday Letters is a story of struggle and triumph. Any reader in any type of relationship (i.e. romantic, parent/child, work,20community) can appreciate and see the victory in this rich story.
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