Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Letters In Cardboard Boxes” as Want to Read:
Letters In Cardboard Boxes
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Letters In Cardboard Boxes

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  157 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
Paperback, First, 260 pages
Published September 9th 2011
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Letters In Cardboard Boxes, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Letters In Cardboard Boxes

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  157 ratings  ·  118 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Letters In Cardboard Boxes
Jun 13, 2011 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
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
The story of Parker, a woman in her late twenties, who begins to reconnect with her grandmother who is in the earlier stages of dementia. As her dementia becomes a larger issue, Parker moves into her grandmother's house with her, and discovers a box of letters of her grandmother's. Between these letters and her own cardboard box of postcards and letters her grandmother had sent her through the years, Parker begins to re-examine the woman who raised her in her parent's absence.

Abby Slovin's
Jun 22, 2011 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
Jun 15, 2011 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
Dec 01, 2011 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
Nov 14, 2012 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
Feb 12, 2012 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
Susan (The Book Bag)
Mar 04, 2012 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
Feb 07, 2012 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
Jan 10, 2012 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 ...more
Rose Ann
Nov 19, 2011 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
Feb 04, 2012 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 ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of popular fiction
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.
Jan 25, 2012 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
Mar 11, 2012 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
Nov 21, 2011 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.
Lisa Collins
Nov 30, 2011 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.
Jun 29, 2012 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!
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I saw this book listed on the goodreads first reads program and signed up to win. I remember being disappointed when I lost. The synopsis hooked me. When I was contacted by the author later, I was so ecstatic and couldn't wait to get started. My grandmother and I are close and have always been close, which is why I wanted to read this book so badly.
The story begins with Parker. She is a woman with no direction, raised by her grandmother (for the most part) because her parents travel often. I
Colleen Mertens
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was one of my least favorite reads this year. The story shows one families interactions with each other and reality. The central characters rely on each other after other family members leave them for all intents and purposes. The reality they deal with is heartbreaking. It was challenging to read because of the emotions it brought out.
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it

Letters in Cardboard Boxes is a very realistic, well developed character study, that deals with fairly full and complex family dynamic issues in a sensitive and undramatic way, and is really given extra dimension by virtue of it's web-based publication.

The story

Parker has always relied on the special relationship she's had with her grandmother Dotty; the person she is closest to in the whole world. It's a bond lived not only in person, but also through a series of letters her grandmother sent

Rose Cimarron
Even before I read it, I liked the idea of this book: the “jacket” blurb made me think of how we never wholly know anyone in our lives, since there are always portions for which we are not present. I liked the idea of Parker getting to know the young girl/woman her Grandmother had been and seeing how that knowledge changed Parker's view of her Grandmother and herself. I was delighted, then, when Abby Slovin offered me a eBook copy to review.

With my usual focus (some might call it addiction), I
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
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Letters in Cardboard Boxes is a truly wonderful and moving story, that I think will be relate-able to many readers. It is beautifully written and reads brilliantly. It took me a little while to get fully engaged and interested in the storyline, but after that the pages flew in quickly and I fully enjoyed the story.

Parker has been raised by her eccentric grandmother, Dotty. The pair are very close and do quite allot together. Parker discovers Dotty is very ill, she is loosing her memory at an
Charlotte Phillips
Jan 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book was truly amazing and it brought a tear to my eye. What I liked about this book was the fact that it felt and seemed so real to me and it just made me think about how so many of us take our grandparents for granted, not really ever going to visit them when we have the free time, or stopping to listen to all the stories that they have to tell. This book was just an amazing eye opener for me because I honestly hate to imagine a world without my grandparents, or my parents for that ...more
Feb 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 23, 2011 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
Nov 22, 2011 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
Jillian Wolf
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it
There are very few fiction books that focus on a female protagonist that choose to focus on the female relationships in her life without going all “beaches” on us, focusing on how she needs to “get the man” (either back or stealing him from a friend), or focusing on how she has totally fallen down on her knees and will never recover until some extreme twist of fate changes her life and suddenly she’s saved! SAVED!
Let me save you time. That doesn’t happen here.

Some events in life are quiet,
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review can be found here: The Ultimate Book Nook

'Letters In Cardboard Boxes' is a bittersweet tale about family, loss and taking the ones that mean the most to us for granted.

Parker's life is nowhere near ideal. She is looked over at her job, has a mediocre boyfriend and a self centered best friend. The only real thing she has in her life is her grandma, Dotty. But when Dotty gets sick Parker doesn't know how to cope. How will she go on without the one person who has always been there?

« previous 1 3 4 next »
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.
“Fact is just fiction with different storytellers” 18 likes
“The smell of burning firewood and the molding of organic, earthy substances reminded her of jumping wildly into the enormous leaf piles of autumns past and she suddenly wished that it was appropriate for someone her age to do such a thing.” 15 likes
More quotes…