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Letters In Cardboard Boxes

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  152 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
Winner of the First Horizon Award for superior work by a debut writer, Letters In Cardboard Boxes tells the story of an eccentric grandmother and her granddaughter alongside a series of fantastical letters they once exchanged.

Their letters once traversed the East River to help Parker escape the loneliness of a childhood without her globe-trekking parents and communicate d
Paperback, First, 260 pages
Published September 9th 2011
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Community Reviews

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Jun 13, 2011 Gwen rated it it was amazing
Every once in awhile there is a book that will remind people why they love to read. Abby Slovin's "Letters in Cardboard Boxes: A Novel" is one of those books. The tone, themes, and characters of this novel will stay with the reader long after they have finished the last page.

The plot of this book might seem tired at first blush, but Slovin manages to take the story and make it fully her own. The story is about a young woman named Parker who spends her days racing around at her job, dealing with
Jun 15, 2011 Dhfan4life rated it really liked it
Quoted directly from upcoming author Abby Slovin’s very own web site about Letters in a Cardboard Box, the story is about “Letters In Cardboard Boxes tells the story of an eccentric grandmother and her granddaughter, Parker, alongside a series of fantastical letters they exchanged throughout their lives. Their letters once traversed the East River to help Parker escape the loneliness of a childhood without her globe-trekking parents and communicate during her turbulent teenage years. Now, nearly ...more
Apr 16, 2012 Katy rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Katy by: Abby Slovin
Please note: I first read this book 6/23-24/2011; I am reposting this review to celebrate it winning the First Horizon award for 2012!

Book info Genre: Literary fiction Reading level: Adult

Disclosure: I received a free eBook ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

My Synopsis: Parker was raised by her grandmother Dotty while her parents, anthropologists, traveled the world and rarely visited. Because Parker was never able to travel the world and often felt lonely (especially when her
Apr 11, 2012 Roz rated it it was ok
Parker has been raised by her Grandmother, Dotty, because her parents, social anthropologists are always away doing research. They rarely come home. Parker and Dotty are close. Dotty used to send Parker letters as though she had been travelling to exotic places when really she lived in Brooklyn and Parker was in Manhattan. Dotty begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s (which Parker failed to really notice). The theme of the book is the 5 stages of grief that Parker goes through in dealing with Dotty ...more
Aug 04, 2012 P rated it really liked it
This is a stroy about love and loss. It's about regret and acceptance. And it is extremely well done. Parker is a young professional, busily going about her life mostly self-absorbed. She has a close relationship with her grandmother, who practically raised her in the absence of her globe-trotting parents. Parker has issues, but as her grandmother becomes increasingly lost in dementia, she struggles to find meaning in all facets of her life. She finds letters that she and her grandmother exchang ...more
Jan 03, 2015 Think rated it it was amazing
To be honest, I have been trying to write this review for over a week. It is extremely difficult because this novel struck a cord in my heart. When something this beautiful comes along it is hard to put into words how you feel about it. At least for me… I am not the best reviewer by far. But, I will try.

“Letters in Cardboard Boxes” is a sentimental and sincere novel. It follows three generations of women as they struggle to hold on to each other. Dotty is the fun-loving, effervescent grandmothe
 Chrystal-Clear (aka trouble4u)
Jun 03, 2012 Chrystal-Clear (aka trouble4u) rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
Loosing someone you love is never easy and Parker finds this out when her grandmother gets sick. Parkers grandmother was everything to her. She raised her when her parents were too busy traveling the world through their jobs and tried to make her life as exciting as she could. Parker and her grandmother would write letter to each other on the "trips" that they took and this lasted up until the Parker became an adult. But when Parker is dealing with her grandmothers sickness she finds those lette ...more
Susan (The Book Bag)
Mar 19, 2012 Susan (The Book Bag) rated it it was amazing
Okay, so once again, the cover hooked me. And once again, I loved the story in the book! Pretty good system I've got here ~ great covers = great books!

Seriously though, I loved everything about Letters in Cardboard Boxes. Well, maybe not everything, there were a couple of things I didn't like, but more on that in a minute. I loved the relationship between Parker and her grandmother ~ what a neat relationship they had. And I loved the very mature and together teen, Tanya, who Parker thought she w
Mar 21, 2012 Tamara rated it it was amazing
I received this book directly from the author Abby Slovin. However, I am writing this review without bias.

When I can read a book in a days time, then I know it was one that I thoroughly enjoyed and that is exactly what happened with Letters in Cardboard Boxes. The story's main character is Parker. Throughout the story we learn about her relationship with her Grandmother. Parker was left home alone by her parents at an early age while her parents traveled around the world. Parker was left under
Nov 14, 2012 Heidi rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars: A poignant and emotional journey through the five stages of grief.

Parker usually doesn't stop to get the mail. What is the point? Hardly anyone takes the time to write letters anymore and it is usually just junk flyers and bills. Today in an effort to avoid the irritating questions from her nosy neighbor, Parker stops and gathers her mail. She tosses it on the table and doesn't give it a second thought until later that evening when her boyfriend calls to cancel their plan
Wow! How time flies - I read this book at the beginning of the month and and just realized that I didn't post my review yet. Sheesh, I must be slacking...

I received this book for free from the author in exchange for a review. I really enjoyed reading this story and was filled with mixed emotions throughout.

I had no idea that the story is organized in five parts to coincide with psychology's five stages of grief. I read about this fact in the "Discussion Corner" section at the end of the book. O
Rose Ann
Jan 04, 2012 Rose Ann rated it it was ok
Sometimes it was okay, some times I liked it, and sometimes I really liked it alot. It just was not consistently interesting enough for me to finish.
Some things drove me crazy, and other things I enjoyed.
So many descriptive sentences that just didnt make sense to me.
Unfortunately, I just kept losing interest, and did not finish. I made it to page 170 +/- (at that point I was skimming).
Maybe I will go back at another time to finish. I was waiting for something to keep me hooked in to keep reading
Jan 25, 2012 Nancy rated it it was ok
I really wanted to LOVE this book. I won it from Goodreads and the author wrote me a note- hopeful that I'd want to share it with all my friends. Instead, I never really got sucked in the way I'd wanted. The main character has a grandmother who raised her, thanks to absent professional parents. The grandmother, a fun woman who writes crazy letters to her granddaughter, pretends to be traveling the world to cheer her up. These tender notes often end with a simple invite to come over for some TLC. ...more
May 08, 2012 April rated it liked it

I started this book thinking only of the relationship of grandmother and granddaughter writing letters much like my own grandmother and I used to share. I hadn't realized Parker's grandmother would suffer from Alzheimer's just as my own grandmother had. I loved the characters and the relationships developed in the book. I was kind of disappointed that it took Parker so long to find out who the other letters were from. I also didn't care for the ending and found some of the editing errors distra
Jan 16, 2012 Danielle rated it really liked it
This is a very sweet and endearing book. I really enjoyed the symbolism of the stars dying out even though we can still see their light and how well they fit with not only the issues with the grandmother but with different relationships as well. It brought back many fond memories of me and my grandmother and even reminded me of the young girl that I mentored and still stay in contact with.

This is a good book and one I think most can relate to.
Dec 15, 2011 Lisa rated it it was ok
Although I gave this book 2 stars it doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy parts of it. I thought the characters lacked depth and I questioned whether or not the parents even needed to be in it at all. I thought the old man next door was a character that could have had a bigger role in the book. I would have loved to see some sort of happy ending between him and Dotty. You may enjoy this book so don't pass it by.
Sep 24, 2012 Anne is currently reading it
Copy arrived today. Yeah! Big decision. I swore I was only taking electronic books on vacation. But ... so tempting. There still is nothing like paper print!
Pam Deppe
Feb 02, 2012 Pam Deppe rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Baxter Trautman
Jun 28, 2011 Baxter Trautman rated it liked it
Life is not the way Parker would have it. Drifting from day to day, “ringless” as the woman next door constantly chides, Parker has one shallow girlfriend and a callous part-time boyfriend. Her only enduring relationship is with the grandmother who raised her while her archaeologist parents explored the world. As her beloved grandmother begins her descent into the oblivion of Alzheimer’s, Parker, unanchored, sinks with her. Unable to accept losing the only person in the world she loves, Parker f ...more
Jun 25, 2012 Bea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I came across this book in GR's giveaway section. I liked the idea of finding old letters and trying to understand the people the letters were written to and by.

Letters In Cardboard Boxes surprised me. It is a well-crafted story of a young woman who struggles to know herself. She grew up with her grandmother as her primary caregiver in her life as her parents were off exploring the world. And, yet, she never ceased hoping that someday they would come home. And, so she waited and waited.

Her gra
Mary Ann
Jan 09, 2012 Mary Ann rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 27, 2012 Samara rated it really liked it
I was lucky enough to receive an efile of this book from Abby after adding it to my TBR pile. So Abby, thank you, truly thank you. (And I apologize for taking so long to read it!)
This story was absolutely beautiful. The start was a little slow for my liking, thus killing off some of my excitement for the remainder of the book and causing a bit of a drag in my reading time. But after awhile the plot really picked up and I was sucked into this book. Abby writes her characters with a bit of endearm
May 30, 2012 Angie rated it it was amazing
My favorite things about the book...

1.) The Letters! I love Dotty for her letters. Written in a fantasy world and creating a bond between both people. After starting the book I immediately started a letter to my 6 year old cousin.

2.) Jerry. He is a character that I felt like I've know. He is so warm and makes the book feel like home. I love his newspaper collection and his love letters made me fall in love.

3.) I was happy that Tanya and Parker became a family. They needed each other and those
Jan 18, 2012 Adriana rated it really liked it
I've never read a book by an independent author before. I think I was over-analyzing it in the beginning. Then I stopped myself before I went crazy and eased into the story. From then on out I let the story fill me up.

Parker is a 29 year old who seems t like being stuck in a rut. At least she doesn't seem to notice that she acts way older than she really is. At 29 I would think I wouldn't be as sad as I felt she was. Well anyway the one person she could trust sent her a letter. It's not unusual
LeAnn Noland
Nov 22, 2012 LeAnn Noland rated it it was amazing
I read this boook after the Abby Slovin contacted me when I failed to win it as a giveaway. I am so glad that she did. This book is the story of a granddaughter and a grandmother and love and loss. But it is also a story of change: the change that Parker needs to go through to find herself, the change she witnesses in her grandmother, and the change of perception that Parker has of her grandmother.

I enjoyed this book, and I longed for Parker's realization of her new self. I liked her and wanted
Jan 24, 2012 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook
I enjoyed this book, to me it's a story about letting go when there isn't really anything you can do to change things anymore. It's about a 29 year old woman named Parker and her grandmother, Dotty. Dotty has been there for Parker her whole life, when her parents weren't, and now Dotty is sick, and there is nothing Parker can do to help her, like she always helped Parker. All that is left of the past is letters and postcards. The postcards Dotty sent Parker, and the ones Parker sent back, and a ...more
Letters in Cardboard boxes was a story about so many things, about loss, love, forgiveness, sadness, friendships, family, and much more. This book provoked in me a series of different emotions. I felt sadness, not just plain sadness, I felt it in a multitude of ways. I felt it like an emptiness you feel when something big is gone from your life, I felt like a heavy burden when you feel there is nothing you can do to change the outcome of the future, and I felt it in a heart-aching way when your ...more
Paige Bradish
Feb 16, 2013 Paige Bradish rated it it was amazing
Letters In Cardboard Boxes by Abby Slovin, was really a beautiful story about a girl dealing with losing her grandmother to Alzheimer’s disease which is a very sad thing to go to and you could see during the book that it was very hard for Parker.

Our main character is Parker and she’s had a tough life because from the age of I think 12 and on she lived on her own because her parents did nothing but travel travel travel. Therefore poor Parker was left on her own quite a bit. Luckily Parker had he
Have you ever kept letters from someone special hidden away in a box somewhere, only to find them decades later? I have, and I still have them tucked away. I’ve taken them out now and then and read them, just to see what is different now, compared to then. It’s a strange feeling really, to look back and remember what once was and is no more.

Abby Slovin, author of Letters In Cardboard Boxes, has taken that nostalgic feeling and intermixed it with life’s lessons. As you read this novel you feel th
Farah Ng
Feb 16, 2012 Farah Ng rated it it was ok
Abby Slovin’s Letters in Cardboard Boxes was difficult for me to really get into. The story centres around Parker, a middle-aged woman and her grandmother, Dotty. Parker and Dotty have a ritual of writing each other letters pretending to be on holidays in exotic places. But they’d always meet up at Dotty’s apartment in Brooklyn. Everything changes when Parker discovers that Dotty has dementia.

The story started way too slowly for me. I wished that Slovin had introduced Dotty earlier in the story
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Abby Slovin was born in the summer of 1983 and lived in the same house on Long Island until attending the University of Michigan. She has a deep love for New York City, Brooklyn especially, where much of her family has its roots. She loves to spend time outdoors, travel, research family genealogy, and relax at home in Jersey City with her husband, Dominick and dog, Grumpy.
More about Abby Slovin...

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“Parker, I'm old," She said matter-of-factly. "I get away with these things." She continued to wave and smile wildly. "People treat me like an idiot so I'm allowed to act like one from time to time. It's one of the perks.” 11 likes
“Fact is just fiction with different storytellers” 10 likes
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