#bookreview The last letter from your lover by Jojo Moyes published by Hodder and Stoughton


When journalist Ellie looks through her newspaper’s archives for a story, she doesn t think she’ll find anything of interest. Instead she discovers a letter from 1960, written by a man asking his lover to leave her husband and Ellie is caught up in the intrigue of a past love affair. Despite, or perhaps because of her own romantic entanglements with a married man. 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’.

My reading experience:

I’m going to confess from the off I watched the movie before I read this book BUT that was the very thing that inspired me to read the book and I was never going to be able to resist a book jacket like that.

I know what it feels like to find a real gem in the archives, something intriguing that makes you dig deeper and deeper until you find that well of information that fills you up. Buried in the newspaper archive for over forty years, the letters to Jennifer (J) from Anthony (Boot) are uncovered by Ellie whilst researching another story. And just like that the author transports us back in time to 1960 to a love affair of such magnitude it spans decades.

The prose are split to reflect the past with the ‘present’ and so the story from the 1960s has a kind of elegant transience about it, which draws the reader in as if part of the love story. The story of Ellie and her married lover John is very different, blunt and raw. The juxtaposition of these two love affairs reveals the stark difference of a deep and impactful love, with a coupling where the married partner is cold and manipulative, shaping Ellie’s thoughts and realities. Where Jennifer and Anthony’s story is easy to read, Ellie and John’s will make you cringe. Is that the difference between reading about the past and living in the present? Slipped between these two stories are real last letters, in themselves indicative of the contrast between romance and reality. As the reader I urged Ellie to come to her senses whilst wishing and hoping that our dear J and Boot would have a sparkling ending.

As is generally the case, the story written by JoJo Moyes published in 2010 is richer and differs from the later film directed by Augustine Frizzell released in 2021. Both are beautiful and moving.

I highly recommend The last letter from your lover by JoJo Moyes.


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