Pros: Real samplings of letters old and new. An intimate peek into the hearts of others.
Cons: Wow, many people need penmanship classes..!! Wondering what happened with many of the couples.
OK, OK. I confess. This book is not really about 'how to write a love letter'. I am just shamelessly throwing myself at the web search engine spiders.
Perhaps my sticky net caught you also my dear reader. If it did perhaps you are searching for the perfect words to reveal your heart's anguished desire to claim that of another. If you are on such a mission ...I envy you.
I envy you that feeling of your bursting heart that has so muddled your thoughts that you are having trouble embellishing 'I love you..!!' When perhaps that is all your desired one really needs to read ...and to hear.
Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See are the random samplings of love letters collected from ordinary people with ordinary lives yet extraordinary loves. We all know that no flame burns as hot as the one in our own heart. We all know that no pain stabs as cruelly as that felt in our own broken heart. Luckily many of us are driven to tell each other just that. Just as luckily, we often find the written word an empowering way to 'speak our heart'.
Those extremes, and every feeling in between, are captured between the covers of this book. Editor Bill Shapiro first read a love letter not meant for his eyes when he stole a glance at a love letter a girl he was dating had received from another male friend. Was it intentional that she left it lying where he would find it..?? He never did know.
But it did plant the seed that eventually grew into this book. There are no flowery, composed, poetic, 'staged' poems found here. If they are it is because a real person shared the beauty of their love with its target ...and now with us. Other letters found here are cold, dark, sharp daggers as a jilted or disappointed lover rejects the heart of another. Luckily, the bright moments of love shared overwhelm the dark corners of displeasure.
These letters are reproductions of the actual letters. Captured screen shots of a computer text message, crumpled pieces of paper smoothed out, sheets folded and unfolded and folded again ...seemingly a thousand times, postcards, ruled notebook paper, a brand of medicine note pad, a collage, the king of hearts from a deck of playing cards.
Typewritten, hand-written, pixels from a screen, a page of doodles, a 'scrapbooked' jumble of thoughts, crayon, a simple sketch, every medium imagined, even a simple photo, is found here.
They all share an immediacy that is born of being real. They all share emotions captured raw and unfiltered. They are sexy, they are sensual. They are polite, they are rude, they are determined. They are warm and melting, they are as cold as a deep winter day.
It is fascinating to read, trying to guess where the message is going, is it from a male or a female..? Are these old lovers or two trying to connect ...or break apart..? Will this 'coupling' grow and strengthen or weaken and shatter..??
At the end of the book Shapiro tells 'the rest of the story' about just a few of the stories briefly captured in these letters. Some of those reprises talk of love shared for decades, others tell of messy break-ups, still others were lost in auto accidents and one in the war in Vietnam.
The Bottom Line
We all take so much for granted every day of our lives; health, financial security, employment, friends, families, the love of our husband ..wife ..partner.
Other People's Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See will give you pause to reflect on your relationship with your special one. It may not give you the words you need to express your thoughts. But it will demonstrate the value and reward of doing just that, no matter what words you use.
Certified 'lean-n-mean' review'