Gwen's Reviews > Letters In Cardboard Boxes

Letters In Cardboard Boxes by Abby Slovin
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's review
Jun 13, 2011

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 her on again off again boyfriend, and trying to find time to see her grandmother. In the midst of all that she receives a letter that will completely change the direction of her life. When she is most lost in the mess of her busy life she must confront the same thing many of us must eventually confront. Parker must face the realities of time, and the loss that comes with aging.

To help Parker through her journey are a handful of very well fleshed out characters. Each one is clearly their own person, but each one is also a reflection of the many facets of Parker's life. There is Tanya that reminds Parker of herself when she was young, or Jerry who reflects Parker's need to hold onto the past. Finally there is Dotty that reflects the future Parker is afraid of accepting. Each character adds to the novel and helps to display the themes running throughout.

The themes of the novel really help to make it as great as it is. They are all themes, that in less deft hands, might over power the story, or even suck the life out of it. Slovin keeps the themes subtle throughout, and also keeps all of them feeling powerful and key right up until the end. The strongest theme in the novel is the theme of grief. Normally this theme could pull a work down into the doldrums. Slovin prevents this by keeping the pacing and flow of the story timed just right. Just when the grief begins to become too much a truly witty joke will come along and lighten up the mood.

The novel also does a wonderful job with its imagery. The descriptions from beginning to end are detailed and fun to read. Many of the images that appear throughout the novel are images that will remind the readers of their own grandmothers. The repetition of little things like pie, old photos, newspapers, and letters all help to tie the past with the present.

This novel will be published on Slovin's website in September 2011. If you haven't bookmarked the website yet I will put it at the end of this review. This book is an absolute must read. Tell your friends and family about it. Tell random people on the street about this book. This is a novel that you will want to keep with you for the rest of your life.

To bookmark the site now visit:
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