The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck ~ 352 pages ~ to be published 6/12/18 by Thomas Nelson
With the colonies at war and his country divided, Hamilton Lightfoot must choose sides: Fight for the British Crown or for the Independence of America. But after witnessing the death of his family at the hands of redcoats, he fears he’ll fight for revenge instead of honor. On the verge of a great battle, he pens a letter to Esther, the woman he loves.
Esther Longfellow is in love with Hamilton, but her father is a loyalist, living in upcountry South Carolina and working for a wealthy British lord. When the Revolutionary War comes to her doorstep she is forced to choose between devotion to her father and her love for Hamilton.
Chloe Daschle is the daughter of Hollywood royalty—a great director and an Oscar-winning actress. Yet her career has taken an unexpected turn: She’s the queen of death scenes. Trying to break out, she accepts a supporting role in a revolutionary war film. But she longs for the perfect role and the perfect real-life romance. Does happily ever after only exist in the movies?
After a life-changing tragedy, MIT graduate Jesse Gates decides to leave his life behind and move to LA to try his hand at acting and screenwriting. When he finds a page from one of his ancestor’s letters, he becomes consumed with the love he finds there. Determined to help his grandfather find happiness at the end of his life, Jesse writes and sells a screenplay based on the events surrounding the lost love of previous generations.
When Jesse meets the woman he has cast to play Esther Longfellow—his grandfather’s one true love—the stories of all four collide across time and space. The love letter from the past might have more power to affect the future than any of them could have imagined.
What I Thought:
(I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)
I love historical fiction. I also love a great love story. And I love Jesus. Therefore, this book was right up my ally. 🙂
When I saw The Love Letter on NetGalley, I knew that I had to request it. The idea of a connection, via a letter written during the Revolutionary War, between these four incredible characters, which were centuries apart, was just far too intriguing. I have to say, I was not disappointed.
Generally in a novel where there are two simultaneous love stories occurring, I find that I am usually rooting for one couple or the other, but not both. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe there is generally too much love being spread around, so no one couple gets enough attention. But, that didn’t happen in this book. I found myself equally invested in both Hamilton and Esther’s relationship, and in Chloe and Jesse’s. They were vastly different, but each one tugged at my heartstrings. I found myself relating to each character too. The relationships they had, and their character development in general, was very well done.
I especially loved the care with which Hauck researched the South during the Revolutionary War. I felt completely transported to that time and place. I love when a novel can take you with it, and help you to live within that world for a time – that is the mark of great historical fiction.
There were some pacing issues for me. At times, I felt that Hauck rambled a little with the characters’ inner dialogue. It threw off the rhythm of the narrative for me a bit, but she generally got back on track within a page or two. This is the main reason that I had to dock this book a star.
I won’t reveal too much on this score, as it is a bit spoilery, but I also enjoyed the treatment of religion and Jesus’ love for us in this novel. Some Christian fiction can kind of beat you over the head with the point of Jesus. This one was fairly seamless. The characters would talk about their faith organically. It, for the most part, didn’t feel forced into the story. It was something that the characters discovered in the right time for them, which was very realistic, as well as inspiring. I really enjoyed this, and appreciated it. I’m always looking for Christian fiction that is well done, and I can honestly say that The Love Letter falls into that category.
I gave The Love Letter 4 STARS. Overall, I thought that this was well-written, and well researched. More importantly, it was a beautiful love story – both for the romantic love story and for the love God has for us.
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Make sure that you check out this book! It releases tomorrow, and it is great! Do you read historical fiction? Or Christian fiction? Are you interested in the Revolutionary War? Let me know in the comments below!
Love and happy reading,