cover image The Last Letter from Your Lover

The Last Letter from Your Lover

Jojo Moyes. Viking/Pam Dorman, $26.95 (390p) ISBN 978-0-670-02280-9

Elegiac yet emotionally ablaze, what could have been merely another love story is instead a graceful examination of grand events. In 1960s England, 27-year-old Jennifer Stirling awakens in the hospital after a terrible accident, suffering acute memory loss. As the past makes its too-slow return, Jennifer employs the skillful deception of an actress in order to cope, but soon realizes that she doesn't love her husband, a man of great wealth from mining operations in the Congo. Stumbling across a haunting love letter sent to her by a man identified only as "B," Jennifer tries to reconcile what is clearly a great passion with the crippling social mores of her day and class. As she examines her heart and mind, the story skips from London to the French Riviera and the Congo in the midst of an anticolonial war. In 2003, English journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles across one of B's letters to Jennifer while researching a story, dragging her into ancient passions and sparking her to examine her own heart. With poetic prose and affecting characters, Moyes's (Night Music) genuinely captivating tale resonates deeply in today's fast-paced, less gracious world. (July)