Bringing Richard Paul Evans to the blog with a story of loss, grief, forgiveness and hope with
The Noel Letters
Noel is preparing for a return to her childhood home, after leaving some 16 years earlier vowing never to return. From a reasonably idyllic childhood, everything changed with the death of her mother in a car accident, and she’s blamed her father for years. But now he’s dying and has asked her to return, and she’s reluctantly preparing for the changes. Of course, she was too late, but her father, ever the planner, has made all sorts of arrangements to explain her history, get her to find her own footing, and perhaps enjoy what he’s left behind in the form of a house and his beloved bookshop.
From reconnecting with an old boyfriend to finally having no choice but to face her own anger and memories and make decisions about staying or returning to New York to find yet another editorial position and home, she starts to receive anonymously penned letters, bits of advice and philosophy, all signed Tabula Rasa or “blank slate”. Believing these are penned by her former boyfriend now with his own losses, a young daughter, and two adoptive parents who loved him despite his issues, she’s finding that their connection is scary, and facing her fears head on isn’t quite something she’s used to.
I wasn’t a fan of Noel at the first: she was abrasive and stuck in victim mode, without any real growth from her teen years when all of her “traumas” happened. Still reeling from her divorce and now the loss of her job and now her father, she’d not made much effort to move forward. But with the letters, her relationship with her old friend, and a new intrigue brought by some rather puzzling but direct statements from a woman named Grace who was always ‘speaking up’ to her father’s character, Noel starts to sort through her past and examine her own actions as she learns the ‘whole story’ of her childhood. With some real growth and hope, a touch of magic and plenty of love displayed on the pages, the story reveals that change and new paths are available to those who do the work to move forward.
Title: The Noel Letters
Author: Richard Paul Evans
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Grief, Holiday Themed, Romantic Elements, Second Chance
Published by: Gallery Books
Published on: 27 October, 2020
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 7 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
After nearly two decades, Noel Post, an editor for a major New York publishing house, returns to her childhood home in Salt Lake City to see her estranged, dying father. What she believed would be a brief visit turns into something more as she inherits the bookstore her father fought to keep alive. Reeling from loneliness, a recent divorce, and unanticipated upheavals in her world, Noel begins receiving letters from an anonymous source, each one containing thoughts and lessons about her life and her future. She begins to reacquaint herself with the bookstore and the people she left behind, and in doing so, starts to unravel the reality of her painful childhood and the truth about her family. As the holidays draw near, she receives a Christmastime revelation that changes not only how she sees the past but also how she views her future.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.