Thursday, 9 February 2017

Review: A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart

****4.5 Stars****

A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart is an angsty second chance romance that is beautifully written and inspired by Jane Austen's Persuasion. The connection between Wade and Elliot jumps off the page. You can tell right at the beginning these two are meant to be together. They are high school sweethearts and when Wade enlists in the Army, he assumes that Elliot will pick up and go off with him. At 17, Elliot is forced to make a choice that will impact the rest of her life and it is one she comes to greatly regret.

Elliot regrets her decision to stay behind almost immediately. She writes to Elliot every day, apologizing, but the letters are never answered. She begins to doubt he is even receiving them and then, one day, stops writing. Seven years pass and when Wade returns home, he is faced with the news that his father has cancer and there is a time limit on how much life he has left with him.

This book left me an emotional mess. It pretty much ripped my heart right out and then stomped on it a few times for good measure. The magic of Staci Hart is that somehow, it still managed to piece those broken and crushed pieces back together again. My heart broke for both Elliot and Wade. I wanted them to find their way back to each other and help each other heal in the worst way. It is always both exciting and worrisome when an author attempts to model a story after Jane Austen's work. Hart did an exceptional job. It had all of the emotional impact and angst of Persuasion, but it amped that up and took it in an even more impactful direction. Add to that the absolutely gorgeous writing style and the heartfelt poetry. This is a book that should be on everyone's 2017 reading list.

Reviewed by Rosemary Feil

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*

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