Love Letters (Andromeda Dawson)

Love Letters is a novel by Andromeda Dawson.
Finished on: 19.8.2019
[I won this book in a librarything Early Reviewer give-away.]

Lauren and Rich got married young and Lauren was prepared to find happiness with him. But the longer the marriage lasts, the worse things get and Lauren gets more and more depressed. When she meets Zander through a facebook group, a friendship starts to blossom between them that makes Lauren question whether she really shouldn’t expect more from life than what she’s gotten so far.

Love Letters has a strong first, and a weaker second half. But especially for that first half, it is really worth reading for its realistic portrayal of a marriage on the brink and depression.

The book cover showing a face with colorful stripes and handwriting super-imposed.

Love Letters is written as Lauren’s journal entries, interspersed with a few poems. She traces back her marriage of 15 years through her journal – and that part is done in an incredibly realistic way. Their relationships teeters on the edge of abuse for the longest time, never quite falling over, but also far from being a healthy relationship for sure. It’s a relationship that will surely feel familiar too many people – I for one know that I have seen it too often already.

Lauren’s depression is also handled in a very realistic way that might strike a chord with some people who don’t even recognize certain things as depressed behavior. I also liked that it didn’t magically disappear just because Lauren starts to take actions for herself.

But things grow a bit dreary with time for the reader (at least me) as Lauren’s entries become more and more enamored with her own poetic language – and that just didn’t work for me all that well. I felt that she gets lost in the poetry rather than being able to get at an emotion that less poetic language may not be able to cover.

I also have to admit that I didn’t find Zander very exciting. I understand that Lauren needed a catalyst to break free from the stupor that kept her chained to Rich, but Zander remains too much of a blank slate for me. He, and the increasingly poetic language, are the reasons that the second half can’t keep up with the first. But that doesn’t mean that the book isn’t worth reading.

Summarizing: read it.

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