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Letters for Emily
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Letters for Emily

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3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  2,693 Ratings  ·  605 Reviews
You are so young. You may wonder what an old man like me could teach? I wonder as well. I certainly don't claim to know all the answers. I'm barely figuring out the questions...Life has a strange way of repeating itself and I want my experience to help you...My hope is that you'll consider my words and remember my heart.
Harry Whitney is dying. He has Alzheimer's disease,
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Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 2003 by Gallery Books (first published 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Janice
Jun 28, 2010 Janice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Wednesday letters, I remembered that a friend had given me Letters for Emily, also by Camron Steve Wright. So, I dug it off my shelves and read it this weekend. It was a poignant read for me. I lived next door to the "real" Harry Wright when I was growing up (he did live on Lincoln Street in Midvale, and "Old Man Ross" did live across the street from him!). My father was the Wrights home teacher for years. Harry Wright was a dignified, gentle, warm man--as I remember him. Of course ...more
Rob
Jan 28, 2017 Rob rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short, poignant little tale about human relationships via the story of a man with Alzheimers and his relationship with family and the World.
Dianne
Oct 09, 2011 Dianne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Well this book certainly was the change I was looking for after Anna Karenina. I read the entire book in one day of just picking it up now and then as a break from something else I was doing. It's quick, light and easy, which leads me to a question I want to ask.

Do you review books you'd class as literature and this lighter kind of novel in the same way? I always struggle with that and would like to hear some of your opinions on it. It seems almost unfair to use the same criteria for a book like
...more
Traci
Jul 28, 2009 Traci rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book begins with what could be a depressing story-line. The main character is dying, with Alzheimer's disease. But the story takes an interesting turn when he leaves a book of poems and connected letters for his granddaughter, Emily. These are life messages that connect with both Emily and the adults in her life. Beautifully written and a joy to read. When I find something this hope-filled I can't help but recommend it. Our choices today are so negative, generally, and this is quite refresh ...more
Robin
Apr 18, 2009 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Robin by: book club
Shelves: book-club
This one had a good story line and enjoyable to read, but could have been written a lot better. I have quite a lot of gripes with the cheesy, unrealistic dialogue. My one other gripe is that, being one myself, I could se how glaringly 'mormon' this writer is even before I read he attended BYU. That would be fine if this were intended to be an LDS fiction, but as it was not, that bugs me. On the positive side, it was squeaky clean, and as I mentioned before, enjoyable to read. Oh, and quick. Very ...more
Janet
Mar 07, 2014 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book.

It was my first by Cameron and I loved it.

Emily and her mom visit Grandpa Harry every Friday. Early on in the book Grandpa Harry dies and once that happens they find this book he left for Emily (and Bob and Michelle). This book is full of poems / riddles / puzzles to be solved and once solved leave to life lesson letters. Although Emily is small the adults, Bob and Laura along with Michelle and Greg solve the puzzles and read the letters.

So much more happens but I want you t
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Tressa (Wishful Endings)
An old man, Harry, is dying and in his last few years writes letters to Emily, his grand-daughter who is seven when he passes away. They had been great friends. Emily's mother and father are currently separated. When the family finds the letters they find that Harry was trying to express himself not only to Emily, but to his son and daughter as well.

I loved this book and highly recommend it!
Darla
Jul 01, 2010 Darla rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Yet another unoriginal, tear jerky, melodramatic story by yet another moderately talented LDS author. More reason not to read books by my fellow saints. I starve for originality and story/ character dimension every time. Very frustrating. There were some good points, I loved learning about the father, Harry. If the story had stayed on he & his wife, maybe it would have been better. And don't send me any hate mail. I am entitled to my opinion.
Beth
Nov 28, 2012 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a sucker for books about letters (or even better -- written in letters), so I picked this up. And to my surprise, this turned out to be much better than I anticipated. Judging from the cover (I know, the cliche says I'm not supposed to, but I totally do), I thought this would be a little hokey and poorly written. What I found instead was a readable, clever story. I found myself rooting for Laura and Bob's rocky relationship and appreciating Harry for his efforts in communicating with his fam ...more
Lorraine
When I started, reading this book, I wasn't really sure I wanted to. There were some similarities to my own father, called Harry, whose father was also called Harry, also bald, suffering with Alzheimer's and a granddaughter called Em......Emma.....almost! I hoped to get some insight into my dad's torment but not really wanting to face up to it. I found the story comforting, and heartwarming. I don't want my father to become a stranger, to see him fade. I'd like to remember the way he was. The st ...more
Karin
Jul 30, 2009 Karin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very unique book about an old man who lives a lonely life and writes his life's lessons in letters to his granddaughter Emily. He writes them in poems and there are passwords hidden in each one that when typed into his computer, brings up a story of this man's life and what he learned. His son, who was never close to him learns about his Dad and learns lessons about relationships that eventually help heal his own marriage. The only thing that was disappointing was that there are some ...more
Jessica
Feb 22, 2009 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I don't like books about depression. They are depressing. While I understand that depression is a mental illness that effects millions of people, I feel like in our society it is acceptable to use depression as an excuse for all bad behavior. Anyway, I thought it was sad that Harry had to leave all his advice and nice things to say in letters to be read after he died, rather than fixing his relationships in person while he was still alive.
Janelle
This was a sweet story about a grandfather's legacy to his family through the letters he left behind. I enjoyed the clues hidden in the letters and found it a clever device to move the story along.

This book made me want to write letters to everyone I left, of course I haven't gotten around to it quite yet.
Alli Elggren
Feb 22, 2008 Alli Elggren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this sweet little book in one day at Newport Beach a few summers ago. Initially I thought it might be too sappy, but I really enjoyed the letters from a grandpa to his granddaughter he doesn't know well. His letters are clever, teach life lessons and give clues about a mystery that runs through the story. Touching and insightful....a fun "beach read."
Katie
Aug 02, 2009 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought the dialoge was worthless, the story line decent. I liked the fact that the book was similar to something that had happened in the author's life. And the grandpa's story was interesting, borrow it if you need a quick, mediocre read.
Cassie Shepherd
I recommend this book despite the three star rating. I am just a cry baby and teared up through the entire book. For me, it is one of those bitter/sweet books you love, but have a hard time getting through.
Bethany
Feb 06, 2008 Bethany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-reads
This is a wonderful book! It combines mystery with a story about family love and loss. It's very sweet and makes you want to write similar letters for posterity. It reads very fast. Have fun figuring out the puzzles!
Susan
May 19, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
An old man struggling with losing his mind writes letters to his granddaughter, Emily. Much more complicated than it seems as he hides clues in his poetry and sets up a treasure hunt. Humor and wisdom. Loved it.
R
Sep 18, 2007 R rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-but-good
Opens your eyes to depression and how it can destroy relationships. Touching tidbits of advice nestled in the grandfather's stories.
Tawnia
Mar 26, 2008 Tawnia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an awesome book based on a true story. The advice he gave his grandaughter is advice we all could use. Keep some tissues close!
Toni
Jul 29, 2015 Toni rated it it was amazing
I felt this was an amazing read with twists and wonderful lessons of joy. This book is one that makes you want to be a better person. I could not put it down I loved the characters and story.
Angie
Feb 04, 2010 Angie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Angie by: Sherilyn
Thoroughly loved this book. Loved the crazy old man and his cryptic poems left to his granddaughter. Loved the relationships. It was a quick, easy read and very heart warming.
Amy
Oct 17, 2008 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was a very fast read and had a good "message". It reminded me a little of Tuesdays with Morrie, but not as well done. The divorce discussion that went on and on got wearing to me.
Debbie O
Jan 10, 2011 Debbie O rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sweet story! Quick and easy read. I'll probably read it again someday. I am considering writing some letters now, too!
Sofia Kitchen
Jan 25, 2017 Sofia Kitchen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emily is a young girl who LOVES to visit her grandpa with Alzheimer every Friday. But, one day, after he got out of the blue angry, and began spitting on her, Emily wanted to stay away from him. This stirs questions in Emily's mom's mind wondering why he behaved a way he has never behaved before. Emily's mom contacted her husband who she is soon divorcing to explain the situation, and asks if he has ever been known to have depression. The only condition that would make sense, and would mean that ...more
Cyndi
Nov 27, 2016 Cyndi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Overall I liked this book about a Grandpa who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's and writes letters to his grand daughter in an attempt to pass down his experiences gleaned over the years. I would use the word wisdom but that implies that he learned from his experiences and I don't believe Harry did. He let the majority of the relationships in his life wither and die and that is what he was telling his grand daughter not to let happen. He knew what steps he needed to take to rectify the situation but ...more
Sara
Mar 20, 2017 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is my first Cameron Wright book. I was looking for The Rent Collector, but it wasn't at the library and I found this book. Now I am not sure if I want to bother. Is Letters for Emily really written at an adult reading level? I have read Young Adult novels that raise up the reader to a higher standard of plot, depth of character, & dialogue. Yet, I have a rule to give a book 100 pages. I was about to give up on Letters for Emily when the poems and letters began (page 91). The dialogue wa ...more
Arliegh Kovacs
This was an inspirational book written in the often used style of encouraging letters written from a grandfather to a granddaughter. (Also another book with a sub-plot of 'family secrets' and how they affect lives.)
The characterizations of both Laura (Emily's mother) and Emily's grandfather were well done (kudos to the author) but I thought the portrayal of Emily, her father, and most of the minor characters was weak.
In the book, there are books of poetry written by Emily's grandfather. Each poe
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Morgan Lyons
Nov 11, 2016 Morgan Lyons rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
I was torn between really liking this book and being really bugged by it. On the plus side, I thought Harry and Katherine's story was interesting, and I quite liked some of the adages and advice that Harry shared in his letters. On the other hand, I thought the majority of the dialogue was ridiculously stilted and melodramatic. And while I think it's great to raise awareness of depression and its very real side-effects, I was somewhat bothered by the fact that Harry was apparently taking medicat ...more
Aleisha
The sentiment of this book is sweet, the poems and advice are sweet, and the ending is sweet. But the dialogue is a little too banal, the characters oversimplified (other than Harry of course).

As my brother pointed out in his review, it's frustrating that Harry would put so much time and effort into these books that would be treasured after his death yet failed to show his family how much he treasured them while he was alive.
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Camron Wright was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received a B.S. in Business from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Writing & Public Relations from Westminster College.

Camron’s first book, Letters for Emily, was a Readers Choice award winner, as well as a selection of the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild. In addition to North America, Letters for Emily w
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“Parents are strange and wonderful creatures. When you're small they seem bright, shiny, and invincible. As you grow, that image starts to fade. It's a sobering moment, but the time will come when you realize they are not the heroes you imagined. They are just people struggling to do the best they can, just the same as you are.You will feel let down, betrayed, even ashamed. This is the time,...when you need to forgive your parents for being human.” 0 likes
“Follow your dreams, make your best choices, and peace will come as you realize that you are on the best path for yourself.” 0 likes
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