Friday, 7 June 2019

Review: The Lost Letters of William Woolf by Helen Cullen

*This book was gifted to me by the publisher for a honest review*

I'm so pleased I picked this book up to read. I wasn't sure it was for me, so I was surprised how quickly I became lost in the story. 

William Woolf hasn't become the person, he dreamed of being. With his marriage dying, he throws himself into the lost letters that arrive at the Dead Letters Depot. He excels at reuniting the letters that have lost addresses with their rightful owners. When he comes across a series of letters addressed to 'My Great Love' his whole world is turned upside down. He's convinced that the letters are for him and goes in search of Winter, who wrote the letters. 

William Woolf is a most endearing character.  For me, he stands side by side with Eleanor Oliphant. All the way through the book, I just wanted to hug him and tell him everything would be fine. His life for so long has just been about existing; everything he thought was safe, is slowly disappearing. The arrival of the letters from Winter, really shake things up.

What really stood out for me while reading this novel were the descriptions. Cullen has a beautiful way with words, which I feel makes her voice unique. I found myself longingly looking back to the days, when descriptive stories were the norm, and weren't just about the action. This style won't appeal to everyone, but I adored it. I'm in awe of Cullen's writing style and I can't wait to read her next novel. 

 I felt I could easily picture the Dead Letters Depot and I was left wondering if it really existed, so I looked it up. And it does! Though I can't imagine the real depots are anywhere near as charming and homely as William's one. The unusual letters played a huge part within the story and I'm so pleased they were included, as it added extra variety and flavour.  The joy felt by the lost letter recipients was quite infectious too.

One of my favourite parts of the book was William's road trip to Clovelly to deliver a parcel. Clovelly is one of my favourite places in Devon and one I insist of visiting every time I go. I think the author captured the picturesque village perfectly.

This book has a charming, nostalgic feel. The key element entwining the characters and the plot is the written word. With the written word, we tend to be more explorative with our thoughts and feelings, writing with truth and passion. It made me want to pull out a pen and paper to indulge in the lost art of letter writing. Wouldn't it be lovely to escape from emails and texts and return to the excitement of waiting for a letter to arrive in the post? 




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