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The Letter (The Christmas Box Trilogy #3)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  8,820 Ratings  ·  186 Reviews
Nineteen years after the death of their young daughter, an estranged couple finds a letter at the base of the girl's gravestone. Feeling in his heart that the letter is from the mother who abandoned him as a child, the husband embarks on a poignant journey of self-discovery and renewed love. The bestselling author of THE CHRISTMAS BOX brings another universal message of ho ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published October 14th 1997 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1997)
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Barbara Avon Honestly, I think it can read as a stand-alone novel because he re-visits what happened to the characters in book 2 by re-capping in "The Letter".

Community Reviews

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Lori Henrich
Mar 13, 2017 Lori Henrich rated it it was amazing
This is the final installment in the trilogy. This installment follows the Parkin family 20 years after the death of their daughter. I love the way the story unfolds. Evans is a great story teller.
Oct 23, 2015 Loraine rated it really liked it
SUMMARY: The Letter, the final book of the Christmas Box collection is, most simply stated, the love story of David and MaryAnne Parkin. But it is also everyone's love story, for it is about the storms that all relationships must face when the blissful state of romance vanishes into one of real-life challenges and difficulties. We often forget that it is in the hard times that we truly see what is best in love as well as in life. Though love may be temporarily darkened, true love never gives in, ...more
Jul 18, 2013 Sue rated it really liked it
The Letter, the final book of the Christmas Box collection is, most simply stated, the love story of David and MaryAnne Parkin. But it is also everyone's love story, for it is about the storms that all relationships must face when the blissful state of romance vanishes into one of real-life challenges and difficulties. We often forget that it is in the hard times that we truly see what is best in love as well as in life. Though love may be temporarily darkened, true love never gives in, or up, b ...more
Jaymee Pilarta
Dec 26, 2014 Jaymee Pilarta rated it really liked it
"Could it be that to truly love a thing is not to desire it, but to desire happiness for it?"

So many valuable life lessons in one story. For those who have lost, and are still seeking answers.
Jun 08, 2012 Donna rated it really liked it
I loved this book. It was indeed a continuation of The Christmas Box and Timepiece. It told the story of David and how his search for his mother after Mary finds a mysterious letter at the grave site of their daughter that was allegedly left by an older woman. David eventually comes to terms with his abandonment issues over his mother walking out on the family when he was a child. His friendship with Lawrence and his employment of negroes addresses racism and as it is set in the great depression ...more
Dec 10, 2008 Tara rated it it was amazing
Amazing! I loved this book so much. I just finished and I can't stop crying. This book was set back in the 1930’s during the depression. It was a sad book at times but to fully comprehend greatness and true love, you must have adversity. To sum up this book I have to quote from the author, Evans says "I do not believe that it is circumstance that produces such greatness any more than it is the canvas that makes the artist. Adversity merely presents the surface on which we render our souls' most ...more
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Dec 21, 2008 Lisa (Bookworm Lisa) rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. This book delved into the feelings of loss, love and forgiveness. David's mother left him and his father when he was six years old. His daughter dies in a fire and later his wife leaves him. He takes an emotional journey as he comes to realize that we need to leave the past in the past and live moving forward. It also is disturbing to read of the racism that existed in the 1930's. This book also explores the truth's that people are people regardless of the color of skin.
Jun 18, 2009 Tim rated it it was ok
Like "The Christmas Box" and "Timepiece," "The Letter" is a continuation of the saccharine saga of the Parkins and their cloying search for meaning and love amidst loss. This one is the longest (300+ pages) but not the best - "Timepiece" was the best. I read this because I am a sucker for series so I HAD to find out what was gonna happen. Not great, but harmless nonetheless. This trilogy is described as "heartwarming," I'd term in "heartburning."
Dec 20, 2014 Madi rated it really liked it
Oh. My. Goodness. The tears. D': I sobbed so hard while reading this. I don't want to say more about that cuz spoilers. Actually, I'm not sure how to review the book without spoilers.
It's a really sweet, sad love story that takes place 20(ish) years after Timepiece. As you can probably tell it's not a happy Christmas story, but I still read it around Christmas because it's part of the Christmas Box trilogy.
I highly recommend this book, along with the whole series. :)
Nov 19, 2011 Gail rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Linda Sullivan
At first I thought I was going to like this book but as I read more I got really interested In Mary and David's lives. I can't wait to see where the book will take me next.

This book was awesome. I had a hard time putting it down. It makes you stop and think about what life was like back than. This book will make you cry so make sure you have some kleenex nearby.
Barbara Avon
Feb 27, 2017 Barbara Avon rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 09, 2014 Angie rated it really liked it
The Letter, is beautifully written. I can't remember the last time that I cried so much during a book. So grateful to have read more about the lives and time period of David and MaryAnne Parkin, though this book is mostly a focus on David.

A lot of the reviews focus on this being a love story between David and MaryAnne. While that may be true, I found the book much more meaningful as it pertains to the meaning of life itself. In the book, David writes in his journal:
"I have come to the conclusio
Nov 20, 2010 Priscilla rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Teodoro Leon
Mar 16, 2013 Teodoro Leon rated it it was amazing
The disparity between rich and poor and all in between who are caught in the crossfire of ignorance, pain, regret, doubt, duress, mistrust, fear and offense and the miracle of how God makes it all right if we choose to allow Him through us...with courage,determination,knowledge,trust and love and the truth that sometimes we hate and that it hurts to hate and that we miserably die in that state of defilement...
This book offered the hope and beauty of God's Spirit without the absurd contradiction
Feb 27, 2013 Sabine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-read
Nach dem tragischen Tod der kleinen Andrea entfremden sich MaryAnne und ihr Mann David zunehmend. MaryAnne beschließt, sich von ihrem Mann zu trennen, erst danach wird David klar, wie sehr er seine Frau liebt. Ein durch Zufall aufgetauchter Brief seiner Mutter macht ihn nachdenklich, David macht sich auf die Such nach seinen eigenen Wurzeln und lernt dabei einiges über sich und die heilende Kraft der Liebe.
Ich weiß nicht so recht, was ich von dem Buch halten soll. Es lässt sich gut lesen, ist fl
Nov 02, 2011 Mommywest rated it really liked it
The final volume in The Christmas Box trilogy takes us forward to the Great Depression and the unrest that existed as jobs became scarce commodities. David and Mary Ann have dealt with their grief in different ways, and it is threatening to tear them apart for good. When a letter from his mother is discovered at their daughter's grave, David finds he must come to terms with the pain of his childhood in order to move forward in all aspects of his life.

Though I liked the book overall, I felt that
Sarah Sammis
May 05, 2009 Sarah Sammis rated it it was ok
The Christmas Box trilogy by Richard Paul Evans wraps up with The Letter. Like Timepiece, The Letter is set in the past. It covers a tumultuous time after the death of their daughter. A mysterious letter shows up on her grave and threatens to break apart the marriage of David and Mary Anne Parkins.

Unfortunately for the melodrama to unfold after this letter, David and Mary have to have complete personality transplants. David is consumed by depression and bottles it all up (except for when he isn'
Dec 05, 2014 Dad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Another excellent book by Richard Paul Evans. He has some bits of wisdom intertwined in the story.
It seems the main character, David Parkin, always got into serious trouble when he supported blacks in the story. The last time he lost his life trying to keep the anti-Negro mob from digging up his friend's coffin. David indeed showed a lot of love for minorities, his wife, his daughter, his housekeeper, and his business partner.
Even though his wife Mary Anne supposedly had left him for good, he
Anna K.
It wasn't as good as the first two in the series, though not saying much, as those two weren't great. This one was more depressing than heartening. Read the first one, "The Christmas Box" and just skip the second two. There is nothing to be gained from either.
Kristal Cooper
I think I have the same complaint about this one as the first two in the trilogy: everyone in the book -- regardless of age, race or social status -- speaks in exactly the same manner. I'm really sensitive to authors who get lazy with developing/individualizing their characters. It has become a make-or-break issue with me.

On the positive side, I think a reader who has lost a child or has dealt with some of the other social issues addressed here (pregnancy out of wedlock, abandonment by parent o
Aug 31, 2012 Christy rated it it was amazing
Mr. Evans' novels are difficult to find where I live. So, when I found this I was eased. It is the final book in the Christmas Box Trilogy. Once I started reading this, I did not want to put it down. This moves us forward into the great depression, David's wife abandoned him, which left him hurt & alone. It told the story of David and his life, his search for mother after a mysterious letter is found at the grave site of their daughter, allegedly left by an older woman. Eventually he is abl ...more
Jul 19, 2012 Saheeda rated it really liked it
A wonderful novel with witty humor and some inspirational lines that really gets you questioning controversial topics like race, human virtues, religion and spirituality. The journey through dealing with loss and trying to find your purpose in life provides motivation and insight into how you should take control of your own life and and not take for granted the simple pleasures in life, especially people close to your heart. The characters show pure compassion and genuine kindness and their acts ...more
May 06, 2013 Mickey rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Debbie Williams
Jun 12, 2015 Debbie Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspirational
Final book of the Christmas box series retells the story of David and Maryanne Parkin. Romance disappears and realities of life take over. Sometimes the it's the struggles and hard times that bring us closer. There is always something to learn from our challenges. Finding oneself is a difficult journey. It takes time, effort, and focus. It has taken me 50 years to determine who I am as a person, but that didn't come until the business of life settled a bit and I could think about myself. I know ...more
May 21, 2009 Lori rated it it was ok
Number three and the conclusion of the Parkin saga. Well written but the story feels rushed in some spots (as though a publisher was pressuring the author to finish quickly perhaps) where it feels there are some holes or missing details in the story. This part of their lives takes place in the Depression and there's too much heartache for me to 'enjoy' the story, (including some choices by the characthers that are hard for me to sympathize with or justify), but it does provide some closure. Stil ...more
Dec 22, 2011 Joyce rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
The third in the Christmas Box series. I missed number two, the Timepiece. This is a public library book.

This is a love story, of sorts. I didn't care for this story so much. Maybe it comes too close to home, I don't know. He's an excellent wordsmith. Just didn't care for the characters or plot. And the truths were quite wishy-washy, not firmly planted on the Sovereignty of God. His other book had a more sure foundation for the character's faith. You might enjoy it. It's a quick read. It kept me
Shelly Ann
Oct 08, 2015 Shelly Ann rated it it was amazing
Very good story, of the couple's relationship, before the book, "The Christmas Box". The movie of "The Christmas Box" is very sweet and so I wanted to read the first two stories of this series. I am glad I did. I now know the trilogy of how it came to be. Its a love story, and in many ways, teaches us how to treat people of all races, sizes and shapes, and lifes. Lives have changed due to lack of attention in the realm of the business world. If you plan to have it all, these stories will show yo ...more
Sep 24, 2016 Nancy rated it it was amazing
This is the third book in a series about a man and woman living in Utah during the depression. But it is not really about the depression. Rather it is a love story. I am a devoted fan of Richard Paul Evans. I read his books just for the pure joy of his characters. There are no sinister plots, no mysteries, no twists at the end - just an envolvement with likable people living out their lives the best that they can. If you are new to the name of Richard Paul Evans I suggest that you start out read ...more
Connie Clay
Sep 28, 2014 Connie Clay rated it it was amazing
I had read the first two books in the series last Christmas, but was unable to get the third at the library. It was always checked out, so I read a few other books and finally did come across book three. I was worried that I had forgotten the story. It didn't take long to recapture the interest in these characters. I am amazed at the clarity I felt throughout the story. It seemed so real, and I cried like a baby at the end. I guess to sum it up, I loved this series, and will definitely read them ...more
Dee Toomey
Sep 24, 2009 Dee Toomey rated it it was amazing
The final book in The Christmas Box trilogy is even more wonderful than the first two. Truly, Evans gets better and better as an author with each of his books.

By now readers will have come to know the characters as personal friends, and your heart aches with their trials, and rejoices in their triumpths. Highly recommend reading the whole trilogy rather than just the 2nd or 3rd book.

My copy will be offered in the trilogy set at our November book swap.
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When Richard Paul Evans wrote the #1 best-seller, The Christmas Box, he never intended on becoming an internationally known author. His quiet story of parental love and the true meaning of Christmas made history when it became simultaneously the #1 hardcover and paperback book in the nation. Since then, more than eight million copies of The Christmas Box have been printed. He has since written ele ...more
More about Richard Paul Evans...

Other Books in the Series

The Christmas Box Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Christmas Box (The Christmas Box, #1)
  • Timepiece (The Christmas Box, #2)

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“I am not a believer in love at first sight. For love, in its truest form, is not the thing
of starry-eyed or star-crossed lovers, it is far more organic, requiring nurturing and time
to fully bloom, and, as such, seen best not in its callow youth but in its wrinkled maturity.
Like all living things, love, too, struggles against hardship, and in the process sheds
its fatuous skin to expose one composed of more than just a storm of emotion–one of loyalty
and divine friendship. Agape. And though it may be temporarily blinded by adversity,
it never gives in or up, holding tight to lofty ideals that transcend this earth and
time–while its counterfeit simply concludes it was mistaken and quickly runs off to
find the next real thing.”
“Life's greatest philosophy is not handed down in stoic texts and dusty tomes, but lived, in each breath and act of human compassion. For love has always demanded sacrifice, and no greater love is there than that for which our lives are traded. And in this great cause of spiritual evolution we are all called to be martyrs, to die each of us, in the quest of a higher realm and loftier ideals, that we may know God. And what if there is nothing else? What if all life ends in the silent void of death? Then is it all in vain? I think not, for love, for the sake of love, will always be enough. And if our lives are but a single flash in the dark hollow of eternity, then if, but for the briefest of moments, we shine - then how brilliantly our light has burned. And as starlight knows no boundary of space or time, so too, our illumination will shine forth throughout all eternity, for darkness has no power to quell such light. And this is a lesson we must all learn and take to heart - that all light is eternal and all love is light. And it must forever be so.” 72 likes
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