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The Letter

(The Christmas Box Trilogy #3)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  9,653 ratings  ·  223 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, 335 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".

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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,653 ratings  ·  223 reviews

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Bodosika Bodosika
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was Superbly written and I loved it;It was interestingly interesting.... 4Star
Lori Henrich
Mar 13, 2017 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 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 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 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.
Mary Reed
Nov 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Another tear jerker by Richard Paul Evans. I really enjoyed this book. I love the stories by Mr. Evans, he pulls you into his stories and makes you feel like you are there living them.
Feb 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: inspirational
Another amazing story woven seamlessly in this trilogy by an author that makes me feel very deeply. I celebrated every joy and cried through the heartaches. Well written and well crafted, I recommend all of this series.The details shape a clear vision that draws you in effortlessly. Please read this author.
Jun 08, 2012 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 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 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 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 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 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 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it liked it
It seems the consensus that this is the third part of the trilogy that no one wanted. For the most part, the book is depressing as MaryAnne leaves very earlier and isn't heard from again until near the end of the book. David goes on a journey to find his mother and proceeds to have an affair with a younger woman. His journey to find his mother is even more depressing than MaryAnne leaving and proceeds to grow worse with the revelation at the end of the book. Plus David never tells MaryAnne about ...more
Angela Rueger
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book continues the story of David and MaryAnne Parkin, picking up where Timepiece left off. It is the longest by far of the three stories, and the most intense in its drama, but a very good read, hard to put down. David delves into his past looking for answers while the present continues to buffet him like never before. In one sense, you know how the story will end, if you have already read The Christmas Box, and you know that it is the sequel, but there is still the mystery of exactly how ...more
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
This is the final book in the Christmas Box trilogy and, in my opinion, the best. A letter is found at the grave of Andrea Parkin, David and Mary Anne's daughter. It is believed to have been left by David's mother who abandoned him when he was six. He goes on a quest to find her and to try to get answers to questions that have plagued him his whole life.

This was a real heart wrenching story and a very enjoyable read.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I’ve read a bunch of his Christmas stories even though they aren’t my bag. They can be old fashioned, male centric, and a little too religious for me (although this one isn’t). This one is a better story for me with some historical fiction elements. You have a couple in the 1930s whose daughter died 20 years ago. They have grown apart and it’s about coming to terms with that. There isn’t much Christmas in the story and it’s a quick dull read.
Mar 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Usually I am so captivated by Richard Paul Evans books, but for some reason this one took me a really long time to get through, maybe I just wasn't in the right mood to be reading such a sad, heavy story. The story was intriguing enough, as his stories usually are. I did enjoy learning more about MaryAnne and David from the Christmas Box. It's good to know more of the backstory, and the trials they faced as a couple.
David Rough
Nov 14, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. The conclusion of the Christmas Box trilogy was better than the middle volume (Timepiece). The story was an interesting tale, but some of the life-changing decisions made by a few of the characters seemed to be shallow and almost illogical. On the other hand, the compassion belonging to friends and the charity of a good heart added depth to the relationships between the characters.
Carol Rennie
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
In the last book of The Christmas Box Trilogy we read more about the life and love David and Mary Anne Parkin, the search for his mother, the friendship with a black man, and the conclusion of their story.

This book was the best of the three, but without the first two books, the story would not be complete and the lesson about life and love would be lost.

Really enjoyed the trilogy.
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is good and a wonderful Christmas month read. It is short and the message is good and has the ability to bring the reader into a better Christmas spirit. I could see myself reading this book some Christmases but it's not up there with A Christmas Carol or stories like that for me. Still a good read though.
Diane Mueller
Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finally finished the series I had started a while ago. The problem with series is you have a vague memory of what happened in the previous books but are struggling to put it all together with the current book. Still enjoyable on it’s own.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was ok
A bittersweet love story set in the time of the Great Depression, this is the final book of a trilogy. I did not read the first two, and perhaps that is the reason I didn't particularly like this one.
Nov 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Letter is the third and final book in The Christmas Box trilogy. It is the story of David and Maryann, the two protagonists of the series. I enjoyed the book and felt it wrapped up the series beautifully.
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Richard Paul Evans writes such tender stories and this one did not disappoint me. It is the final story in the story of David and MaryAnne Parkin. I found myself in tears at times, filled with joy at others. I could place myself in the scenes as a bystander, the writing was so clear!
Mar 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
My first read from this author and I am sure it will not be my last. What a wonderful story filled with mystery, love and heartache. A story of finding oneself and learning to let go and move forward no matter the fate. I highly recommend this read.
Carol  Vanhook
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful story of relevance for today, more than ever. Richard Paul Evans offers countless words of wisdom in this story about life, love, and humanity. I would classify this as Christian Historical Fiction. It is a tender, moving story with many surprises, from page to page, to the very end!
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
The final book to The Christmas Box trilogy didn't disappoint and by the time I finished it, I was tempted to go back and read the first book as it's been several years since I've read it. Maybe this Christmas season...
Charly Troff (ReaderTurnedWriter)
I'm honestly not a huge Richard Paul Evans fan, but I loved this book! It was the perfect Christmas time read, even if it is a little cheesy.
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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

Other books in the series

The Christmas Box Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Christmas Box (The Christmas Box, #1)
  • Timepiece (The Christmas Box, #2)
“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.” 71 likes
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