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3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  979 ratings  ·  183 reviews
"Is there any mystery greater than those we love the most?
"In this remarkable collaboration, "New York Times "bestselling author Luanne Rice and JosephMonninger combine their unique talents to create a powerfully moving novel of an estranged husband and wife through a series of searching, intimate letters. By way of a correspondence so achingly real you'llforget it's fict...more
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Published September 23rd 2008 by Bantam Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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I devoured this little book! It was so well done, and totally captured my interest from the very first page! The worst has happened to Sam and Hadley. Their 20 year old son, their only child, has been killed in a plane crash in rural Alaska. Sam and Hadley, who were so in love, had a wonderful marriage until their son died, are now estranged and trying to live without one another. Hadley has moved to a little cottage on an island off the coast of Maine to paint and deal with her impending divorc...more
I'm not generally a fan of romance novels; however, found the premise of this book interesting enough to at least start reading it.
Sam & Radley's son dies in a plane crash in Alaska. He'd gone there for personal reasons. Sam and Radley are devastated and in the midst of their grief, they lose touch with each other and their marriage is headed to divorce court.
As the book opens, Sam is on a quest to go to the site of the plane crash and Radley is staying in some rustic cabin getting in touc...more
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Oct 09, 2008 Kathy rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone. Any parent of only children.
Recommended to Kathy by: I picked it up by accident. Thought it was the something else e
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This was a very moving story. It's just a very little story of how losing a child can separate a marriage. Your heart will be shattered, as a mother of just one child the story made me to want to make another child but again it's all in God's hand. You can have 10 kids and still outlive them..
emi Bevacqua
I wouldn't normally choose to read fiction written by two authors but in this case I figured the gimmick would work, since it's letters written back and forth between a divorcing husband and wife. I expected a chronicling of a dissolving marriage, and to avoid giving away too much I'll just say it wasn't that depressing and that the gimmick does work over all.

It's nitpicky of me to rag on this but it didn't ring true to me that the husband and wife are both beautiful writers considering he's su...more
I enjoyed the format as it was just letters back and forth to husband and wife but the plot was stupid. I didnt like the charachters and it was just over all a dumb book.
I found this to be a powerful book of two parents who split following the death of their only child, then find their way back to each other while trying to come to terms with their loss; each in their own way. They begin to write letters to each other and it is the first time in decades that they communicate honestly. I can not begin to imagine the pain the death of a child causes. It was very real in this book. I hope, as every parent hopes, to never have to face this situation. It takes Hadley...more
Tina  M
Thank you, Megan for this recommendation. I really enjoyed reading it:)
Synopsis: "Is there any mystery greater than those we love the most?

In this remarkable collaboration, New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger combine their unique talents to create a powerfully moving novel of an estranged husband and wife through a series of searching, intimate letters. By way of a correspondence so achingly real you’ll forget it’s fiction, they trace the history of a love affair and of a family before, and after, the moment that changed the course o
The story is about a marriage torn apart by their son's untimely death and how the couple tries to get back their sanity in their own way. The husband decides to visit the place in Alaska where their son breathed his last. The journey is long and difficult. The wife retires to a lonely house and tries to go back to painting. Bonded by their grief they write letters to each other. They discover their lost love through their letters.

The story is touching. It moves fast and touches the heart.
This novel was a series of searching, intimate letters of an
estranged husband and wife. They are dealing with the death of
their adult son several years previously very poorly. The letters
are written when the husband goes to Alaska and travels by dog
sled (interesting info on how that works) to the site of the plane
crash. The wife is spending the winter at a cottage off the coast
of Maine. My favorite part is how the husband dares to initiate
the correspondence and the wife eventually responds with...more
An epistle is a letter sent to a person or group of people that is generally elegant, formal and didactic in nature. This is the form of Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger’s collaborative novel, The Letters.

Sam and Hadley West have lost their only child, Paul, in a plane crash in Alaska, where he had gone to teach. The loss of their son throws their marriage into turmoil and they are now on opposite sides of continent waiting for their divorce to become final. Hadley, an artist, is holed up in a l...more
I love letters. There is something so personal and fun about sending and receiving them. At times I am sad that due to email, texting and other electronic communications as well as cell phones we do so little letter writing anymore. When I saw the cover I thought this might be a book about Christmas, I guess it was all the trees and snow but that was not the case at all. In this novel Hadley and Sam are a married couple who are currently separated as they each come to terms with their 20 year ol...more
Connie  Kuntz
A grief-stricken couple retreat to opposite ends of the country. He is in Alaska. She is in Maine. Both grieve not only the loss of their only son, but the loss of their connectedness to each other. Due to the fact they are in remote locations, the only way they can keep in touch with each other is through handwritten letters.

At first they are insecure and a touch arrogant in their letters to each other. Eventually, they learn to depend on the natural honesty and legato tempo of letter writing...more
This book was sad, yet hopeful for me. It is the story of Hadley and Sam West, the tragic loss of their only son Paul, and of finding their way back to each other.

The story is portrayed through a series of letters that Sam starts to write to Hadley after he embarks on a journey to Alaska. He wants to visit the spot where their son lost his life. Hadley, on the other hand, rents a small, haunted cottage where she begins to heal a bit and starts her painting again. They have started divorce proce...more
after having my heart ripped out alive by another author, I took a much needed break from reading. I am looking forward to returning to fiction by reading my favorite author Luanne Rice.

I feel books find us when we need them, I do. I feel this way about "The Letters, A Novel" by Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger.

A married couple separates after their son dies in a remote plane crash in Alaska. The husband Sam deals with is grief by taking a rugged trip to the plane crash site by Alaskan Husky Do...more
Jun 10, 2012 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Sam and Hadley West are a couple just trying to survive the soul-shattering loss of their only son in Alaska. They each decide to do this in their own ways: For Sam, a sports journalist, acceptance of his son's death means undertaking an arduous trek by dogsled across the beautiful but forbidding Alaskan landscape to find the spot where Paul died. For Hadley, it means renting a benignly haunted, salt-soaked cottage off the coast of Maine where she can paint and begin to grieve in peace.

Now, at o...more
Talvez o livro que nos ultimos tempos mais me emocionou ao ponto de nas últimas páginas ficar com os olhos húmidos de alegria.

Um casamento abalado pela morte do único filho, mas um casamento que há muito mostrava sinais de ruptura...Quantos casamentos não chegam a um ponto em que um abalo apenas mostra que algo não está bem desde há muito tempo??? muitos...

As cartas trocadas pelos dois é o cenário deste livro...analisam o passado, descrevem o presente e com isso reconstroem uma relação que aos n...more
Margarida Cruz
Mais uma estreia. Foi o primeiro trabalho de Luanne Rice que tive oportunidade de ler e, apesar de não ter correspondido inteiramente às minhas expectativas, pode-se dizer que me "encheu as medidas".

Estava à espera de uma maior abordagem ao amor entre o casal e aquilo com que me deparei foi com uma história essencialmente em torno do amor pelo filho desse mesmo casal.

Talvez por não ser mãe e por não compreender o amor que liga os pais aos filhos, o livro não me tocou da maneira que devia, não fo...more
Three years after the tragic death of their grown son, Sam and Hadley's marriage has fallen apart. Each gone their separate ways to come to terms with the loss of Paul and their marriage. Sam is in Laika Star, Alaska; Paul had been on his way there to teach. Sam is teamed up with a seasoned dog sledder to reach the spot where the plane carrying his son and the pilot crashed. It is a grueling hard journey physically and mentally. Hadley has retreated to a remote island off the coast of Maine livi...more
Rice and Monninger collaborated to produce a collection of letters between a couple on the brink of divorce following the death of their only son. The letters enabled this couple to delve inward and verbalise on paper what they might have been unable to do face-to-face. Needless to say that the letters saved their relationship and helped them to deal with their grief, analyse their behaviour (past and current), and come to grips to what indeed mattered.

This novel was published in 2008 and it ha...more
Peggy N
This was the first book I have read by these authors, and frankly was not excited to read it. I put it off to the end of the selections that I made at the library for this week. I'm not sure what I expected. It is a series of letters back and forth between a husband (Sam) and his estranged wife (Hadley) who were in the middle of a divorce. It began as the husband wrote to tell his wife that he was in the wilderness of Alaska going to the site of the plane crash that had taken the life of their s...more
It took be me a bit to get into his book, though in the end it was a happy ending. I felt sorry for Sam and Hadley, having lost their son, but with the fact that they had decided to divorce, I couldn't at first understand why they would want to write to each other. I guess it was the way for them to find their way back to each other, back to Paul. I felt sorry for Hadley, getting her hopes up that Paul might actually still be alive, and then as it turned out he wasn't. Why would that Eileen Kilk...more
Margaret McCullough
I first found this book in Sam's Club and after leafing through it, I thought, I'll have to get this when it comes out in paperback. I'm not a big fan of hardbacks because I don't keep very many books. Well, time went by and unfortunately, I forgot the name and authors of the book. I could only remember that the book had something to do with letters; I nearly drove myself insane searching for it! Finally, I found it by chance at Borders and decided to just buy it in hardback. I got hooked in the...more
A friend had checked this book out from our local library, then left it on top of my car in my driveway for me to read. She called me(before the book got ruined by rain, thank goodness) and told me to check the top of my car. I had over a week to read it before I needed to take it back to the library.

I opened the book to see what it was about and whether I should be glad she left me the book or irritated about the situation.

I loved the book and found it was a very successful joint effort of t...more
This book completely surprised me! I chose it because I was intrigued by the format. The story is completely told in letters between an estranged husband and wife who are trying to come to terms with the loss of their adult son. Sam and Hadley are living apart and are facing their devastating loss in dramatically different ways. Sam is traveling to Alaska to see the place where Paul died and Hadley is holed up in a cottage in Maine trying to grieve. While on his journey, Sam begins to write Hadl...more
If you have ever lost someone and can't figure out why, this lovely story of a man in Alaska and his wife in Maine may show you the way. After a shared loss, these two drifted apart and forgot the good times... Written as a seris of letters this couple may have a happy ending, despite the tragic loss in their life. Have some tissue ready.
Slow at first. I thought this was going to boring because the first few letters were sent in batches from the man, using a lot of exposition about his trip to the Antartic. However, as response letters from the woman come in, a drama about their relationship begins to unfold. We start to understand more about their lives, the events that brought them to decide divorce--the drinking, the affair, the abandonment--all to avoid dealing with the pain of losing their son. In the end, we can see how wr...more
I really liked this book. It is a book of intimate letters written between an estranged married couple who have split up after the death of their only son. Sam travels across the Alaska tundra by dog sled in search of the exact place where their son lost his life on a plane crash. Hadley retreats to a small cottage in Maine where she begins to paint again. Now on opposite sides of the country, waiting for their divorce to be final, they begin to exchange letters. They express longing and truths...more
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Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-one novels including THE LEMON ORCHARD (Viking/Pamela Dorman Books.) Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, many have been New York Times bestsellers and two of her pieces have been featured in off-Broadway theatre productions. She divides her time between New York City and the Connecticut shoreline.
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