The Letter

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Overview

The Letter, the final book of the Christmas Box collection is, most simply stated, the love story of David and MaryAnne Parkin. But it is also everyone's love story, for it is about the storms that all relationships must face when the blissful state of romance vanishes into one of real-life challenges and difficulties. We often forget that it is in the hard times that we truly see what is best in love as well as in life. Though love may be temporarily darkened, true love never gives in, or up, but holds tight to ...

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Overview

The Letter, the final book of the Christmas Box collection is, most simply stated, the love story of David and MaryAnne Parkin. But it is also everyone's love story, for it is about the storms that all relationships must face when the blissful state of romance vanishes into one of real-life challenges and difficulties. We often forget that it is in the hard times that we truly see what is best in love as well as in life. Though love may be temporarily darkened, true love never gives in, or up, but holds tight to noble ideas, which transcend this earth and all time.

The Letter is also about our pasts and our individual quests to discover who we are. In The Letter, David Parkin sets out on a journey to find his mother, a woman who abandoned him when he was a child. In truth, however, David is searching for himself as he seeks to free himself from the pain of her rejection and his fear that he was somehow unworthy of her love. In a sense, David's search is the same journey we are all pursuing. We are all seeking love.

My hope is that you will feel what I felt as I wrote this book -- the divine nature of loyalty and the understanding of why we must share love whenever and wherever.

One final note. I am saddened to finish the Christmas Box trilogy and to bid good-bye to the Parkin family. I do not know if I shall ever visit them again, but I am glad for this last story -- a story which I think is a fitting sendoff for the characters I've grown to love. I hope that the message you find in their lives is meaningful to your own. And, most of all, that in reading the Christmas Box collection, you, and those with whom you share my books, will never be the same.

With my love, Richard Paul Evans

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Set in Salt Lake City during the Depression, this overwritten, tear-jerking tale of personal redemption returns to the characters Evans introduced in his bestseller The Christmas Box. Twenty years have passed since the death of David and MaryAnne Parkin's three-year-old daughter, Andrea. David has maintained an unvarying stoicism about Andrea's death, shutting out MaryAnne, who finally rebels against her emotional limbo and leaves him. Feeling thrice abandoned by the women in his life (first by his mother, Rose, when he was six, then by his daughter, now by his wife), David reads an unsigned letter in Rose's hand that MaryAnne had discovered at the foot of Andrea's grave. Immediately, he decides that finding his mother will lead him to the answers he craves. Through his quest, David confronts poverty, racism, personal demons and the temptation of new love. By striving to understand his feelings for his mother, David is able to reconcile his grief for his daughter and renew his love for MaryAnne. Evans again offers a surplus of melodrama and flowery prose, further undermined by one-dimensional characters and contrived situations. Readers who crave a huge dose of sentimentality, however, will be touched by this exhortation to moral strength in the face of tragedy. Simultaneous audio; author tour. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Aiming to duplicate the sugary success of The Christmas Box and Timepiece (which jointly have 5.5 million copies in print), Evans brings back David and MaryAnne Parkin, whose daughter died 19 years ago. A letter left at her grave suggests that David's biological mother is trying to make contact.
Kirkus Reviews
Third in Evans's mega-successful and ditto sentimental saga (The Christmas Box, 1995; The Timepiece, 1996) about the good David and MaryAnne Parkin of Salt Lake.

The action starts in 1933, twenty years after the couple's beloved three-year-old daughter, Andrea, died. It seems that the affluent David, in his grief, has grown guarded in his love for MaryAnne, has built "walls around his heart," a failing the reader needs to take pretty much on faith, since David remains insufficiently three-dimensional for much dramatic evidence to emerge. It must be true, though, because MaryAnne has had it up to here: in fact she's about to leave forever, under guise of going to a brother's wedding in England. Once she's gone and he finds her Dear John letter, David—well, he falls very low indeed. Why, though, did his daughter's death hit him so hard? Might it have to do with his own mother's abandonment of him—for showbiz—when he was only five? And might she, though thought dead, be the same who recently left another letter, this one on Andrea's grave? To try to allay his psychological ghosts, David goes to Depression-era Chicago to dig up what he can about his mother's life in the theaters there—an expedition that fills the book's center, may be its most involving section, leads David to an "insight," and is ended suddenly when, back home, his dear old Negro friend, Lawrence Flake, has a stroke. David's return and Lawrence's illness will bring about a revelation, a reversal, a battle between good and evil, and two deathbed scenes, one more mawkish than the other, each extended deliciously by the absence of modern medicine.

Evans's world of the angelic and the satanic, of homily, sermonette, and deep thoughts, is brought—in his usual rickety, jerry-built fashion—to life once again. Whatever your reaction may be to melodrama, read it and weep.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684834726
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 10/14/1997
  • Series: Christmas Box Trilogy Series
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Paul Evans

RICHARD PAUL EVANS is the #1 best-selling author of The Christmas Box. His fourteen novels have each appeared on the New York Times bestseller list; there are more than thirteen million copies of his books in print. His books have been translated into more than 22 languages and several have been international best sellers. He is the winner of the 1998 American Mothers Book Award, two first place Storytelling World Awards for his children’s books, and the 2005 Romantic Times Best Women Novel of the Year Award. Evans received the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award for his work helping abused children. Evans lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children.

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    1. Hometown:
      Salt Lake City, Utah
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 11, 1962
    2. Place of Birth:
      Salt Lake City, Utah
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Utah, 1984

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 8 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2012

    thought provoking

    An excellent, heart touching story! What a very thought provoking book! Loved it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 13, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Read this book!

    David and Mary Anne Parkin is a wealthy couple, living in Salt Lake City during the Depression. Though David may not have the physical struggles of the time he has to forget the past and move into the future. When Mary Anne leaves Salt Lake with no intention of returning, David has to change. He encounters more than one struggle with his business and a lovely young lady named Deirdre with Mary Anne's absence. With the loss of his daughter, Andrea and his closest friend, Lawrence, David learns to love again.
    I would recommend this book for any girl. It is a very sweet love story that has many surprises throughout the plot. The author did a great job of portraying who the characters are so it was easier to understand the motives behind the actions. The book includes real excerpts from David Parkin's diary that show just how good of a man he was. I think girls any age would appreciate the story and would understand the emotions of both David and Mary Anne.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2004

    Timeless

    The Letter illustrates the power of love and forgiveness. It is a short read and is captivating. The first time I read it was 5 years ago. I returned to it recently and still got the same thoughts and senses as before. I loved it then and I love it even more now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2001

    Incredible Love Story

    Evans always seems to amaze me with his writing. I have read The Christmas Box, The Locket, The Letter, The Carousel, and The Looking Glass and every story is sooo touching and heart wrenching! I want to read Timepiece now and see if it lives up to his other books... and I am sure that it will! The Letter is a wonderful love story of a couple who fight to love eachother through lifes tribulations! It's a must read!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2000

    A Must Read!

    It's been a long time since a book has captured my attention and pulled at my heartstrings like this one. It's a must-read for anyone looking for a gripping, moving story about real relationships. Based on a true story, 'The Letter' is a fast read, but more importantly, it's one that is hard to put down at night. The characters are described in-depth, and they are beliavable and likeable.

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    Posted October 29, 2008

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    Posted April 5, 2014

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    Posted February 12, 2010

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