Thank You to Paula at AME Inc for sending me this book to read and review.
“Letters Between Us” begins with a Santa Barbara Herald newspaper article. The article is about the death of 39-year-old Katharine Taylor Fields whose body was found in a dumpster at the Cold Spring Tavern Inn. Katharine’s estranged husband David calls Laura. Laura is a childhood friend of Katharine’s. Katherine has been a patient a Psychiatric hospital for the past eight months of Katherine’s life. After attending the services Laura stops by David’s house and he gives her a brown box thinking that she should have it since it was a box filled with all kinds of memories of the girls.
The box contains letters that Katherine had kept from Laura. The letters dated back to 8th grade. Laura gets a room at the Vista del Mar Inn. She calls her husband and tells him to send her own box of saved letters she is intent on reading through all of them.
The book is written in a series of letters back and forth, interjected with journal entries and Laura’s memories.As she reads, she also remembers. The current time in this story is 1989.
Neither one of these girls had a very stable upbringing. Laura was both promiscuous and heavily involved in experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Katharine, in spite of her mental health issues, was more reserved and restrained. Katharine’s first hospitalization in a mental health facility began in 1969. Being a child of alcoholic parents and a father that was abusive and unemployed left a huge scar on her psyche. As she grew into adulthood it only got worse.
As Laura reads the letters and journal she looks back over the years and she sees clues about Katharine’s life that she missed while they grew up. Laura’s young adulthood was more focused on sex, drugs and alcohol than self-examination.
“Letters Between Us” is an engaging, easy-to-read novel, written in a unique form. The book is about a friendship that has grown since they were teenagers. Makes you wonder if a friendship like that can stand the test of time. Did you keep any letters or notes from friends when you were that age?
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