What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

L'Amour, Béatrice
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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Epistolary Romance: Woman unknowingly exchanging letter with her long lost love [s]

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Coline Lulu (colinelulu) I've been looking for the title of a book I read a very long time ago. I don't remember the name of the author, I just remember a few details here and there about the story.
It was an epistolary Novel. A woman exchanged letters with a man which in the end turns out to be her long lost love. They had a relationship when they were younger before he disappeared from her life. It turns out he had an accident and became paralysed and that's why I think he disappeared from her life and never contacted her again. When they parted she was pregnant and he didn't know that. She had a daughter that she raised with another man.
It' not much to go with but I am throwing this bottle in the ocean hopping someone somewhere might have an idea.
I read it I think in 2000 or 2001.
Very small detail but why not put it here also even if it does not help: He signed one of the letter he sent her around Christmas with the name Atnas Sualc (Santa Claus). Or at least I think, I read it in French, not in English. In French it was an anagram of Père Noel so I assume it was the same in the original version.

Thanks to whomever could help me identify that book. It was a book of a friend of mine and I'v been wanting to read it again for years.


message 2: by Kris (last edited Jan 28, 2015 05:19PM) (new)

Kris | 34381 comments Mod
Coline, is this a contemporary or historical romance?
Does the novel start by describing their first relationship, or that revealed much later on?
Location - France, Europe, Britain, U.S., different countries, etc.?
How old is the hero and heroine? Their jobs, families, background, etc.?


Coline Lulu (colinelulu) It was a contemporary story. I don't remember exactly the location unfortunately. If I had to guess I'd say he lives somewhere in the UK and she lives in the US but I don't want my guessing to be misleading.
Their relationship is not described at the beginning. It is something we learn little by little through their exchange of letters. The man does not reveal who he really is, I think he uses a false name throughout most of the exchange.
I remember he lived alone in a house whereas the woman was married though not happily. She has only one daughter which I think is around 16-18 of age. The man does not discover she is actually his daughter until very late


message 4: by Kris (last edited Feb 09, 2015 06:51PM) (new)

Kris | 34381 comments Mod
This is an historical romance, but I'll mention it just in case - The Exile of Sara Stevenson by Darci Hannah?

Do you recall anything about her/his home (e.g., seaside, island, big city, small town)?


Coline Lulu (colinelulu) No it's not this one. But thank you because it just looks great. It goes right to my "Want to read" list :)


He lived in a (big?) house in the countryside I'd say.
I know he has neighbours so it is not a isolated home either.

Whereas she lived in the city.

I remember another scene where the woman is arguing with her husband and her daughter comes into the room to fetch something. At the end of the scene we realize she had come to retrieve the pack of letters so that her stepfather could not find them. So the daughter is aware her mother has a penpal.


message 6: by Aerulan (new)

Aerulan | 1198 comments Have you looked at the listopias for epistolary novels?
Here's a couple of the lists that could fit the book you're looking for.
Love Letters: Romance novels with written communication

Epistolary novels

Epistolary Fiction


Coline Lulu (colinelulu) Thanks a lot for the lists.
Unfortunately I haven't found the book I'm looking for in any of them :(

I'll keep looking and maybe one day I'll find it.


Coline Lulu (colinelulu) I'm still looking for this book. I haven't found anything new to add but if someone has any idea, please let me know.

Thanks a lot!


message 9: by Kris (new)

Kris | 34381 comments Mod
Where or When by Anita Shreve doesn't sound quite right as it appears she knows his identity from the start.

Coline, how old is the daughter?
Can you describe her husband - his job, personality, background, etc.?
Can you tell us more about her lost love?


Coline Lulu (colinelulu) The daughter is a teenager.

I don't remember anything relevant about the husband I'm afraid. Except that at the time the novel takes place, things are not so great between him and the femal protagonist.

As for the lost love, apart from the fact that he is in a wheelchair and lives alone I don't remember much either. It was a very long time ago.


Coline Lulu (colinelulu) Still looking for this book.

If anyone has the slightest idea what book it is, I'd be grateful.


Coline Lulu (colinelulu) Hi all

I'm still looking for this book. If anyone has the slightest idea, that would be great :)


message 13: by Kris (last edited Jan 30, 2016 01:15PM) (new)

Kris | 34381 comments Mod
How does their letter writing begin? How do they initially "meet"?

What's her ex-lover's job? Is the heroine a stay-at-home mother?

Do we know he's in a wheelchair near the start of the book?

How long do they correspond?


Coline Lulu (colinelulu) The heroins is not a stay-at-home if I remember correctly.
We don't know the ex-lover is in a wheelchair until we discvover who he is by the end of the book.
I have no clue whatsoever about the title though.

I don't remember how the writing begins but I would say he is the one to initiate it because he knows who she is while she doesn't know his true identity until close to the end of the book.

I'd say the writing takes place over the course of a few months, a year at top. And it's at least 15 years after the last time they met.


message 15: by Mrsbooks (new)

Mrsbooks | 252 comments Following


Coline Lulu (colinelulu) I found It :)

It is: L'amour, Béatrice by Janine Boissard.

Thank you for all you help :)


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