I am a glutton for punishment
As far as beautiful books are concerned
Today’s book is one of my personal favorites so far and what i would classify as historical fiction. The books alternates between past and present and for people who are not used to reading books and jump between different time lines and follow the flashbacks accordingly, this might prove a bit too overwhelming. Part of the action starts in 1943 and the rest unfolds in the present day. The plot takes us in London during the second world war where we find out about Dan and Stella’s love story and then returns us to the present and Jess and Will’s part plays out what happened with the previous couple almost 70 years ago.
This book had the ability to make me abuse the makeup kit. And by that I mean that i had to use some advanced tricks to cover up the spotty complexion i have acquired due to crying whatever eyes i still possessed.
So, today I give you, “Letters to the Lost” by Iona Grey:
This is an alternative cover of a separate edition of the one on the blog.
I’ll just start with this: What in the history of all human tears was that? What the hell was that to my clack, jaded soul? WHY DID YOU DO THIS TO ME? WHY? Geezus fucking Christ, i can’t even describe the inner turmoil I’ve been through.
I would post pics of the half full bin of used tissues and the bucket full of tears, but i can’t even summon the will to move from my corner of sadness and take the phone.
This kind of beautiful book is my punishment every 300 or so books that i pick up to read.
I just know it. Every single time (every Holy Mother single time) i hit the 300 ish mark of read books and have a constant mood of something feeling awfully much like ‘meh’, this fucked up brain of mine, just has (HAS!) to pick something so heart-wrenchingly sad, beautiful, superb and emotional that I’m a useless wreck for half a day.
I know I’m supposed to review something here and sound mildly intelligent or at least competent at writing a review, but i can’t even pretend to be writing it even mildly professional. Truth be spoken,I don’t even know where to start writing this review. I only know that the end of the book made me feel like a should just stare for a few days at something and not move from that spot.
Me, the emotionally unavailable iceberg that has been accused a few times of having the emotional capacity of an old spoon (not in these words every time since few people are so original with words, but the meaning was close enough for me to get the general idea).
As much as i loved Jess and Will from the bottom of my lil’ old black rotten soul, Stella and Dan’s story made me cry enough tears for a lifetime. Even if these two people had not loved each other so deeply for oh, so many years, what they have been through and the letters they have send each other were enough of a story in itself. Hell, the letters themselves were so beautifully written that i wouldn’t even need the background story to love these books to the very trees that made the paper the words were typed on. I kept hitting my head on the wall while reading chapter after chapter and thinking how cruel fate is and how much even the smallest decision can influence the stream of time. I won’t even get started on the part where Stella and Dan have loved each other for 70 years without knowing if the other person was still alive anymore. For me, it seemed that Jess and Will and the beginning of their love were more like background characters in the book, even though they were the active ones in the present action for the better part of 3 quarters. Sort of like they and their story were the background on which the real one was constructed. As likable as they were, what i wanted to read with each passing page was the unfolding of what really happened with Stella and Dan.
I won’t go into too many details or specifics (the blurb of the book speaks for itself and offers plenty of insight), but i will say just this:
Read this book.
Get under the blankets, grab some tissues, some hot chocolate, grab the book, put a sign on the door that you have contacted the plague and it will take a while until your body overcomes it and just start reading.
The letters made me blink repeatedly to keep from shedding tears from the very beginning (a very lost cause in the end).
Ii can’t even insert an appropriate gif or pic in this review as per my usual over-enthusiastic style because they all fall short. Once more, as it usually happens with books i love so much it feels they take something away when i finish reading them, I have no idea what i will do with my life from now on. Or how i will leave the house in the next hours if the redness and the eye swelling doesn’t go away, something not even the makeup kit managed to cover up completely. If you want to cry Niagara falls right here, right now, you are my guests to pick up this book and read it.
I mean, even if you do not want to do this, just pick up the book and read it. That’s nonnegotiable as far as i am concerned. But please, for the love of all that is holy, to not even contemplate turning the page to read the Epilogue (yes, i am giving it a capital “E”). It’s a short thing, barely two pages long, but, but, but… *tearful sigh*
Needless to say, I did turn the page like a clueless glutton for punishment and read it and then i bawled my eyes out into the pillow for an additional two hours (if the crying from when i was actively reading the book was not enough) and now I’m feeling mildly ill and tolerating an infernal headache because of crying too much.
And Ketonal simply does not cut it for the pain.
This book went to my “build-them-a-temple-kind-of-books shelf” on Goodreads.
Anything else would have been an insult to the emotional nuclear atomic hydrogen bomb i have been experiencing. Shows what war does to people, but at least, i got something bitter-sweet in the end out of the whole emotional roller-coaster affair.