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The Lost Letters of William Woolf

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3.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,481 ratings  ·  393 reviews
Lost letters have only one hope for survival...

Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries: Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names - they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard
...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published July 12th 2018 by Michael Joseph
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Popular Answered Questions
Helen Cullen Hi Melissa,

I've never heard of the Hallmark Channel - I don't think we can get that over here in Ireland and the U.K. so I can reassure you my novel…more
Hi Melissa,

I've never heard of the Hallmark Channel - I don't think we can get that over here in Ireland and the U.K. so I can reassure you my novel has not been inspired by that show (or any show!) - it is all a product of my imagination! If you do end up reading it, I hope you enjoy it!

Thanks so much for reaching out,
Helen(less)

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Average rating 3.34  · 
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Cheri
!! NOW AVAILABLE !!

A time it was, and what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you

-- Old Friends / Bookends, Simon and Garfunkel, Songwriters: Paul Simon

More than kisses, letters mingle souls.

Letters with no address belonging to the sender and a missing or unclear destination are lucky if they end up in East Londons Dead Letters Depot, it is their last hope. Inside the walls are
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Louise Wilson
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries: missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names are just a few of the puzzles they have to try and solve so that the recipient gets the letters/parcels that were intended for them.

When William discovers letters addressed to "my first love" his work takes on new meaning. William starts
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Kendall
I found the premise of this story to be fascinating and brilliant.

William Woolf works at the Dead Letters Depot as a letter detective. His primary job is to try and get letters and packages to their final destinations when they names/addresses have been worn off etc. Can I just say how cool is that job?! I feel like you would find some fascinating letters and parcels!!

William is married to Claire and she is struggling with her marriage to William. Claire's life has not turned out the way that
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Dale Harcombe
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
William works as a letter detective in the Dead Letters Depot in East London. Each day he deals with letters with missing postcodes, letters wrongly addressed, writing that is illegible and various letters and parcels with no return address. As a young man it is not what he saw himself doing. When he first met Clare, he had great plans. Over the years things had changed. When William discovers letters in dark blue envelopes with silver writing, he is intrigued when they begin to My Great Love. ...more
❄️Nani❄️
Aug 31, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5⭐

Up until the last few chapters this was a solid 4-star read. Then it became somewhat cheesy and, more annoyingly, a bit too convenient.
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Joanna Park
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved the premise of this book! The idea that there are people who are willing to take the time to get lost post back to the rightful owners is a lovely one and I do hope there is a Dead Letters depot somewhere.  Some of the personal stories behind the post were beautiful to read about and quite emotional at times when you read about the intended recipient finally opening their post.  There was a bit of a nostalgic quality to the book as letters are a bit of a rarity these days as is sending ...more
Joanne Robertson
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Letter writing is a sadly a dying art nowadays and one that I have to admit to missing terribly although my dad still very much enjoys writing letters to his great grandchildren. The look of excitement in their eyes, when a letter addressed to them lands on the doormat, is a joy to behold and always makes me wish there were more handwritten letters sent to us. So I was immediately attracted to the stunning cover of The Lost Letters of William Woolf and what a beautifully constructed story lies ...more
Thebooktrail
May 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this in the bank holiday sunshine and whilst it's not a Booktrail book (it's set in London but that's about it) the real setting is the art of communication, reuniting people with their memories, lost letters, words of love and reassurance that have become lost over time, letters of rejection even, letters giving bad news, but all of them lost and not with their rightful owner.

There's a special Dead Letter Depot in East London looking after these lost letters and trying to find their true
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Wendy
Jun 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Lost Letters of William Woolf provides sanctuary to abandoned words and a voice so second chances might be heard. I was swept along on its trail of serendipity, while it healed hearts and broke others in its wake.

One of the Post Office Poirots is, as the title would suggest, William Woolf. He works at the Dead Letter Depot and its his job to care for all manner of stray mail that, for one reason or another, has failed to reach its destination.

He and his colleagues relish the opportunity
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Susie Wang
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
A great idea with sub-par execution.

I honestly thought I was going to love this one. But I don't think I've ever read another contemporary novel so slow. And for such a slow pacing, you'd think there's a full resolve at the end. But no, there's no concrete ending at all.

The writing was okay, but it dragged on so much, I had to skim some parts. Otherwise, I might have quit reading it altogether.

Would not recommend it if you're looking for a quick and relaxing read. The slowness was almost
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Diane S ☔
Dnf at 25% Just not in the mood for this. Charming, in parts, whimsical in others, but much lighter than I wanted at this time.
Cathy
From the description, I was expecting this book to concentrate a lot more on the attempts of William and his fellow letter detectives to reunite the lost letters of the title with their intended recipients. (The one reunion we do get to witness, of an object with someone very significant for its previous owner, I found so touching.) Personally, I would also have liked to learn a bit more about Williams colleagues as we get only teasing insights into their own particular, idiosyncratic interests ...more
Eva
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
William Woolf works at the Dead Letters Depot in East London. A place where lost letters and packages are given a second chance to find their rightful owners. One day, William finds a letter simply addressed to My Great Love, written by a woman to a soulmate shes not yet met. Living a life that didnt quite pan out the way he thought it would and with a marriage thats seemingly crumbling, William wonders if he might be the soulmate of the letter writer.

The Lost Letters of William Woolf oozes
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Caroline
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
William and his wife Clare, once madly in love, are now engaged in a period of stalemate. Clare is resentful that William dropped his ambition of becoming a writer in favour of his dead end job in the dead letter depot - a department of Royal Mail that deals with letters that have lost their way. William's role is to find the owners for these letters and packages. One day a letter addressed to 'My Great Love' lands in his pile and his heart is captured by Winter, a woman writing to her fictional ...more
Carla Johnson-Hicks
I loved the premise of this book. The idea that there are people who are hired to get lost post back to the rightful owners and it would be wonderful if there really were a Dead Letters depot somewhere. Some of the personal stories behind the letters and packages were beautiful and emotional. With the world using email and text to communicate today, it was beautiful to read these letters, many from the past. When there was a connection made, it was sweet and emotional to hear the reactions of ...more
Ari
May 31, 2018 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
When Laini Taylor recommends it, how can I say no?
Give it to me!!
littlemiss_emmxx
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It is so beautifully written and I just love the characters so much that I didn't want it to end. Fairly certain that Helen Cullen has now become an auto buy author.
ʚϊɞ Shelley ʚϊɞ
It must be even worse to feel lonely inside a couple than when youre alone.
I thought this might be a romance book-not my preferred genre. But is this a romance? I guess it is. But its more a love story (to the written word) than a true romance...if that makes any sense. A lot of this story isnt romantic and I think thats what made it so special. The love between William and Clare was beautiful and pure for much of the story and if it started as romance it wouldnt have worked. This is a couple
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Don Jimmy Reviews
Apr 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Lost Letters of William Woolf is a truly heartwarming tale about William and his wife Clare. Their marriage is going through a rough patch and we get a view of both sides of the marriage in this tale.

This is going to be a very quick review because I feel if I say too much Ill give the game away.

This is a wonderfully structured tale of love and loss and I honestly couldnt put it down (clichéd I know, but it is the truth). The mystery of the lost letters really adds to the story here and has
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Stephen
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
this book had so much promise but sadly the ending felt as though it was rushed but did enjoy it even though its not a fasted paced read
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
William Woolf works in the Dead Letter Depot in East London. He, along with his colleagues, is tasked with reuniting letters and parcels undelivered, due to missing addresses, illegible handwriting, smudged ink and torn packaging, with their intended recipient.

He now was convinced that some letters found him because only he, with his particular personal collection of experiences and insights, could crack their code. Other letters depended upon different detectives, of that he was sure, but some
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Jen
Oct 19, 2019 marked it as didn-t-finish
Shelves: netgalley
My thanks to NetGalley and HARLEQUIN - Graydon House Books (U.S. & Canada) Graydon House for an eARC copy of this book to read and review.

This did not work for me. Not a bad book, but I was hoping for more of the dead letter office and less of a marriage going bad and then a resolution. I DNF'd at about page 76, skipped to the end and didn't really like it, so decided to not read from page 77 to the end.

Due to my not having completed the book, nor having a strong aversion to it, no stars.
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Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Thank you to Kathleen Carter Communications, Graydon House Books, and Harper Collins Books for a free copy of this book for review. William works in a department of the post office called the Dead Letters Depot. This is where the mail goes when is it undeliverable. The people in this department are trying to find a way to deliver this mail within reason. Addresses are double checked and the mail is sometimes read to try and find who the recipient should be and/or the sender. If possible, the ...more
OLT
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm torn about my rating for this book. On the one hand, I found it to be very well written and thoughtful, with a realistic look at everyday people and their everyday lives and everyday problems. On the other hand, I wasn't expecting such a limited story based on its plot description of the Dead Letters Depot and the "letter detectives" working there.

Instead, this is mainly a quiet, well-written story of the atrophying, dying 14-year-old marriage of a stagnated husband and a frustrated wife.
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Elizabeth
DNF for me on this one. I thought it would be about William and his work within the "dead letter" division of the postal system. Instead, The Lost Letters of William Woolf was largely about William and Claire's marriage and its problems.

But more than anything else, what made The Lost Letters of William Woolf a DNF for me was the writing. It's so occupied with trying to be interesting and clever that it forgets to be either of those things.

No stars because I couldn't even maintain enough interest
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Kirsty
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was so intrigued by the premise of Helen Cullen's debut novel, The Lost Letters of William Woolf. The novel is filled with interesting characters, and plausible relationships and situations. It could have proved far too sugary and sentimental, but it felt very human. I found Cullen's writing and story incredibly engaging, and found it a great and enjoyable choice to read whilst on holiday. It is easy to read, but there is definitely some bite to it. I also found that the novel was not at all ...more
Tara (Spinatale Reviews)
When I first read the synopsis for The Lost Letters of William Woolf, I was absolutely enchanted by the idea of a dead letter depot. It sounded like the kind of place that would make for a wonderfully quirky and imaginative novel. However, this book wasn't really either of those things. Instead, The Lost Letters of William Woolf is a story about the slow dissolution of William's marriage and his desire to find a mysterious letter writer known only to him as "Winter." Overall, the storyline just ...more
Sarah Perchikoff
The Lost Letters of William Woolf was a bit of a rollercoaster for me. At first, after I had read the first couple of chapters, I thought this was a book I would have loved a few years ago but had grown out of. But then I got to Clare's point of view and everything changed. The story was nothing like I thought it'd be. I thought it was going to be about a man trying to "find himself" in some letters he found, but it is more about finding love again in a relationship that has been idling by for a ...more
Pamela
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
William Woolf is a "detective" of lost letters at the post office. It is his job to try to find the person that the letter or item should have gone to. When he discovers a letter addressed to "my first love", his work takes on a new meaning. Stuck in a marriage that seems to be falling apart, William believes these lost letters are for him and tries desperately to find the author. This is a slow read, not a lot of action. I found it hard to like Claire, and felt the ending was a bit ...more
Hannah Beswick
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice story, easy reading but it didn't grip me. The ending was a little ambiguous for my taste, and it also left me wondering what the real point of the characters journey had been.
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Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London. She worked at RTE (Irelands national broadcaster) for seven years before moving to London in 2010. In the UK, Helen established a career as an events and engagement specialist before joining the Google UK marketing team in 2015.

The first draft of her debut novel THE LOST LETTERS OF WILLIAM WOOLF was written while completing the Guardian/UEA novel
...more

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