Title: A Thousand Letters
Author: Staci Hart
Pub. Date: February 9th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Inkslinger PR
Sometimes your life is split by a single decision.
I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them.
But now he’s back.
I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid.
Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance.
One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey brought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.
*A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion*
“There is no length to love; it’s infinite. It lives in you always.” 90%
A Thousand Letters is a story that follows two perspectives of lovers who did not lose their spark, but were pulled apart by family and duty. Feelings of love and sadness and anger live in them both, along with the feelings of betrayal and a love one-sided. In this novel we follow both characters as they struggle with loss and the difficulty of seeing each other again after so many years. Arguments are inevitable, blame is thrown around and slapped to someone’s head, and sometimes there are moments of happiness and peace, of hope and a love so deep and true that the couple can smile and laugh and be together. This novel centers itself of the truth of love, how you know love is real because it hurts. The author shows readers this in an abundance of ways, breaking through our walls and crushing our hearts with all the despair and anger, then mending it in the sweet and quiet moments of hope. You are bound to feel something when reading A Thousand Letters, as it leaves no heart untouched.
The writing is flowery and there were a lot of meaningful quotes and words strung together to form the most inspiring and influential sentences. This style allows readers to slow down and appreciate what is being taught, and to appreciate the intelligence of the characters. We got insights into a character’s true feelings and their personality through the things they said when they wanted to cheer up their friends and family, when they wanted to make things better but could only tell the truth. Cold hard honesty was strung in soft, lyrical sentences, making or breaking it for a reader. I found that at times, the story dragged because the writing was intent on getting across a specific point and took it’s time getting there. Sometimes the build up was perfect, and other times it wasn’t. The writing is lovely, but it took time to get a point across and often times led to the story dragging.
“Braveness isn’t always loud. Sometimes it’s silent. There’s braveness is sacrifice and kindness. It’s in doing a thing that needs to be done, even though it’s hard, and even though it hurts.” 39%
Wade is the male half of the couple. He just came back from the war to some pretty devastating news, not to mention the appearance of the woman he loves but can’t stand being around. He often lashes out at his sisters or Elliot (the female half of the couple), and tends to leave them alone to deal with their grief so he can run or walk around for hours with only his thoughts. Elliot broke him. The war broke him. He broke him. I understand that Wade is broken and unsure of how to deal with things, but I found him incredibly selfish. He hurt his family and Elliot so much, made them cry on multiple occasions, but even when they confronted him he didn’t stop. He claims he understands his mistakes, but that everything is justified in his head, as if that makes everything okay. It doesn’t. He never fought it; he only fought them. His anger issues are understandable as well, but not to the extent where he had to run off so often to calm down. All in all, I did not like Wade.
“And I realized then that I wasn’t empty. I was broken; the sharp pieces of what was left of me were buried under shock that had collapsed, decimating me” 69%
Elliot, on the other hand, is strong and brave, honest and kind, giving and caring. She loves to help, or she helps anyway because it’s the kind of person she is. Unfortunately, she is always what some might call a doormat. She lets everyone step on her, use her, bully her, and take advantage of her. She doesn’t fight back, doesn’t say no. She is quiet and meek, passionate but small. It got annoying, how she just took everything in stride and never did anything for herself, never stood up for herself. She ruined herself by not fighting back, and found freedom when she finally did. That growth took a long time, but I definitely loved it when she got to that point.
“But there’s nothing to be done, no way to fight” 38%
Romance is a huge drive for this book. It’s the main plot, the main focus. My low rating is most likely due to the fact that I strongly dislike one half of the couple, which obviously leads to me not enjoying the romance. I honestly never wanted Elliot to forgive Wade. I wanted him to stop being so selfish and rude, and I wanted him to truly see the extent of the damage he caused to others and himself, but I never wanted him to be with Elliot. He broke her so thoroughly that she couldn’t even stand to be around him, even though she is such a giving woman. She gives everything to everyone no matter how they treat her. But he hurt her so badly that she couldn’t keep herself by his side, even though he wanted her there. So no, I never rooted for them and I never understood why Elliot loved him so much.
Overall, A Thousand Letters is a great book, and you’ll be sure to love it if you love the romance. I recommend trying it if it interests you!