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Sam's Letters to Jennifer

Sam's Letters to Jennifer

4.2 334
by James Patterson

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Laced with mystery, Sam's Letters To Jennifer combines two unforgettable love stories in a novel that's absolutely impossible to put down.

Jennifer returns to the resort village where she grew up to help a beloved relative--and ends up experiencing not one but two of the most amazing love stories she's ever known.

The first is completely unexpected. In a series of


Laced with mystery, Sam's Letters To Jennifer combines two unforgettable love stories in a novel that's absolutely impossible to put down.

Jennifer returns to the resort village where she grew up to help a beloved relative--and ends up experiencing not one but two of the most amazing love stories she's ever known.

The first is completely unexpected. In a series of letters that Jennifer finds, her relative reveals that she has concealed a huge secret for decades: Her great love is not the man she was married to for all those years. As Jennifer reads about this passionate partnership, she learns more about love's imperatives and secrets than she ever dreamed possible.

And then comes the biggest surprise of all. At a time when she thought she could never love again, Jennifer lets her guard down for a moment--and is suddenly caught up in the greatest flight of exhilaration she's ever known. But, just as suddenly, she learns that this new love comes with an unbearable cost. Jennifer doesn't think she can survive the pain--but the letters she's been reading make her think that love may help her find a way.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Unlike Patterson's Alex Cross thrillers, this sentimental tale does not translate well to audio. The plot twists seem all the more absurd when read aloud, and the audiobook's maudlin music, inserted during the story's poignant moments, is as distracting and disturbing as a TV laugh track. Jennifer, a newspaper columnist who's grieving the death of her husband, has more reason to mourn when her beloved grandmother, Sam, falls into a coma. Jennifer rushes to Sam's home in Lake Geneva, Wis., where she finds a packet of letters addressed to her. The letters detail her grandmother's life story, including an affair she had with a mysterious man. Jennifer takes comfort in the letters, and at the same time, embarks on her own romance with Brendan, an old friend. Heche's thin, mousy voice is perfect for the perpetually worried Jennifer, but she rarely varies her intonation, not even for Brendan's dialogue. Alexander does a better job as Sam, conveying the elderly woman's concern for Jennifer, but her performance isn't sufficient to elevate this flawed audiobook. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Forecasts, June 7). (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Jennifer, a workaholic journalist from Chicago, receives a call from Lake Geneva, WI, with news that her beloved grandmother Samantha is in a coma. Jennifer rushes to be with her, but finds that waiting is all she can do. In her room at her grandmother's house, Jennifer finds a stack of letters addressed to her that reveal the story of Sam's life, with some surprises. Down at the lakeshore, Jennifer falls in love with a childhood friend, now a doctor, who has secrets of his own. The inevitable crisis strikes, but with the help of her loved ones, Jennifer struggles through. Patterson's use of a series of letters to convey his story is not new, and his rationale is fairly flimsy. However, it helps to facilitate the development of the parallel love stories. Well read by Anne Heche and Jane Alexander; recommended for large listening collections.-Joanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Patterson, a former ad man turned megaselling author (The Lake House, 2003, etc.), makes a calculated and obvious appeal to the widest possible reader demographic. Hugs and kisses, love everlasting, happy tears, and advice from the hereafter-well, at least it's not another trite book about a dead spouse who likes to talk. It's a grandmother whose swift and tidy demise begins this epistolary mushfest. But Sam's granddaughter Jennifer is a young widow who uses words like "awesome," "totally," and "very cool" a lot. Anyway, Jennifer is numb with shock when Sam breathes her last. What will she do? Where will she go? Why, to Sam's lakefront cottage, where she finds a cache of letters, conveniently bundled and sorted. Jennifer begins to read them. But she misses Sam so, so much, Jennifer just wants to cry and cry-and she does. Why, it was Sam who gently coaxed her out of her shell and removed her veil of sadness. But there was so much she didn't know about her beloved grandmother. Can it be true that Sam didn't love Grandpa Charles after 26 tedious years of marriage, child-rearing, and household drudgery? Sniff, sniff. Life is so sad. Funny and sad. There are so many letters. This one is about Doc, the man who taught Sam to laugh again and gave her a second chance at love when she was in her 40s and her spirit was drying up like a bug in a web in a corner of a dusty room. How sad and funny is that? Jennifer thinks it would be awesome if she could learn to love again too. Then she meets Brendan, who is so, so cute and nice. Brendan does a very cool thing: he performs mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Euphoria, her stricken cat. Wow! Will Euphoria live? Will Jennifer still want to kiss Brendan ifhe tastes like a hairball?Love, like, totally conquers all. Author tour. Agent: Jennifer Rudolph Walsh/William Morris

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Sam's Letters to Jennifer

By James Patterson

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2004 James Patterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-71057-1

Chapter One

SAM AND I are sitting on a mostly deserted beach on Lake Michigan a little north of the Drake Hotel in Chicago. The Drake is filled with treasured memories for both of us, and we had dinner at our favorite table there earlier. I need to be with Sam tonight, because it's one year since, well, everything happened that shouldn't have happened-it's one year since Danny died.

"This is the spot where I met Danny, Sam. In May, six years ago," I say.

Sam is a good listener who holds eye contact beautifully and is almost always interested in what I have to say, even when I'm being a bore, like now. We've been best friends since I was two, maybe even before that. Just about everybody calls us "the cutest couple," which is a little too saccharine for both of our tastes. But it happens to be true.

"Sam, it was freezing that night Danny and I met, and I had a terrible cold. To make it worse, I had been locked out of our apartment by my old boyfriend Chris, that awful beast."

"That despicable brute, that creep," Sam contributes. "I never liked Chris. Can you tell?"

"So this nice guy, Danny, comes jogging by and he asks if I'm all right. I'm coughing and crying and a total mess. And I say, 'Do I look like I'm all right? Mind your own blanking business. You're not going to pick me up, if that's what you're thinking. Scram!'" I snorted a laugh Sam's way.

"That's where I got my nickname, 'Scram.' Anyway, Danny came back on the second half of his run. He said he could hear me coughing for two miles down the beach. He brought me coffee, Sam. He ran up the beach with a hot cup of coffee for a complete stranger."

"Yes, but a beautiful stranger, you have to admit."

I stopped talking, and Sam hugged me and said, "You've been through so much. It's awful and it's unfair. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better for you."

I pulled out a folded, wrinkled envelope from the pocket of my jeans. "Danny left this for me. In Hawaii. One year ago today."

"Go ahead, Jennifer. Let it out. I want to hear everything tonight."

I opened the letter and began to read. I was already starting to choke up.

Dear, wonderful, gorgeous Jennifer ...

You're the writer, not me, but I had to try to put down some of my feelings about your incredible news. I always thought that you couldn't possibly make me any happier, but I was wrong.

Jen, I'm flying so high right now I can't believe what I'm feeling. I am, without a doubt, the luckiest man in the world. I married the best woman, and now I'm going to have the best baby with her. How could I not be a pretty good dad, with all that going for me? I will be. I promise.

I love you even more today than I did yesterday, and you wouldn't believe how much I loved you yesterday.

I love you, and our little "peanut." ... Danny.

Tears started to roll down my cheeks. "I'm such a big baby," I said. "I'm pathetic."

"No, you're one of the strongest women I know. You've lost so much, and you're still fighting."

"Yeah, but I'm losing the battle. I'm losing. I'm losing real bad, Sam."

Then Sam pulled me close and hugged me, and for the moment at least, it was all better-just like always.


Excerpted from Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson Copyright © 2004 by James Patterson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 300 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

Brief Biography

Palm Beach, Florida
Date of Birth:
March 22, 1947
Place of Birth:
Newburgh, New York
B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971

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Sam's Letters to Jennifer 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 330 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mind you, this was my first James Patterson novel and compared to all the other reviews I have read I am sure there are other great books by him. I am now reading "The Lifegaurd" and so far it's great.
Sam's letters to Jennifer was a good read. I read it in two sittings and it kept my attention the whole time. I thought it had a good story line and I enjoyed to two love stories.
I believe the story could have been played out more. But you can tell it was a get to the point story. I wouldn't surprise me if Mr. Patterson wrote it over the weekend.
I recommend this book to someone who is taking a long flight or isn't a avid reader, because it is such a good short read. Not a disappointment,
sendy_s More than 1 year ago
If you like a good love story, then Sam's Letters to Jennifer is the story you're looking for. It gives two love stories from a grandmother and granddaughter. It all happens in the summer in Lake Geneva. Jennifer the main character of the book leaves her job in Chicago to go to Lake Geneva where her grandmother, Sam, lives. A family friend found Sam on the floor unconscious. Jennifer has been very close to her grandmother; it's like if she was her best friend. Jennifer feels lost because she doesn't want to lose her grandmother like she did her husband, Danny. This novel is different from any other novels because it has a lot of feeling to it as well as imagery. A good example of the imagery the book has is in page 102, "A cooling breeze gusted under a hazy sun, and the air was a perfect seventy-five degrees." I can really picture the way it would be out. It has a good story to it, and gives you two sides of love stories. Some of the surprise moments in this novel are when Jennifer finds letters to her from Sam. She reads them little by little while Sam is in the hospital. In one of the letters it tells Jennifer how Sam will be telling her secrets nobody ever knew about her. The first letter told Jennifer how Sam never really loved Charles, Jennifer's grandfather. Sam goes into detail how she met Charles. He was a gentleman at first but the 3rd day of their honeymoon Charles slapped Sam. Sam left everything for him and he slapped her, she felt like running away. Sam calmed down and told him next time he raises his hand to her she'll leave. After that nothing was the same, Charles was moody and always was working. Sam also says "These letters aren't just about my life, Jen; they're about yours." She wants to get Jennifer to move on and feel better. Sam tells Jennifer that only because Danny is dead doesn't mean she should shut love out of her life. This book has a good story to it. I enjoyed reading the book Sam's Letters to Jennifer. I usually don't read books but this book I am almost done with. It has a lot of imagery to it, tone and feeling. It makes you think about life and all the good things it has to it.
LovieMarie More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book not sure what to expect...I could not put it down. It was three love stories in one! The chemicals between all of the characters was phenomenal. For anyone who is a sucker for love stories, this one hits the spot!
morghenp More than 1 year ago
James Patterson has a way of expressing the things in life that we take for granted in his writing. Published on June 30th, 2005 is where in this Fiction novel the main character, Jennifer is facing trials of guilt, love, sadness, and hatred. But, through her Grandmother (Sam) letters she is able to find a bit of herself in her Grandmother in a shocking twist she never expected. Patterson is able to dazzle the reader's in this captivating story of love and hardships. As Jennifer begins the new chapter in her life she is able to realize that she has taken many of things in her life too seriously and she decides to let loose. She is able to find true love, and lose a person she loves. This novel can really help you realize that you can meet and love so many people but they're always going to be gone before you can ever do anything. God has placed us on this Earth and he can take us at any given moment. I would have to say that Patterson has written many great novels. Another one of his novels that I have grown fond of is Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas. Also in this novel, a young lady named Kate falls in love with a guy but he winds up breaking her heart and then he shows her why these things happened between them through the Diary of his late wife and son. These two novels relate in a way of both having key reasons of why the things happen to such good people. Patterson really makes you fall in love with his characters in a way that he simply describes them and gives them problems that many of his reader's can actually relate to. I recommend that anybody and everybody should read this novel. You can really get a good vibe of how precious life truly is. I mean, do we as humans actually realize how precious life truly is? That we can be given true hardships and love? Or that we can actually lose the ones we love before we are ready? So in this story you would need to have a tissue on hand because it is so heartwarming. You get to learn of ones struggles through losing the man she loved and how her Grandmother went through many of the same trials that her Granddaughter is facing now. I can relate to this story in some ways because like Jennifer, I was close to my own Grandma. It's nice to have the love that your Grandma can show you. I mean, they are just like your moms except they tend to be a lot more fun. And like Jennifer, I have lost my Grandma and you really do grow to miss them. And as Brenden says in the book "I like to live my life to the fullest from sun up to sun down." We can all really get with that message. We truly should live everyday like it's our last because you never know, but it could be. So I say if you're the type who likes to read about romance love or a little bit of drama then this book would be perfect. It's filled with love, romance, happiness, and sadness which make a great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a lovely story! Touches many parts of love/life... smiles,tears and all. I highly recomend! Read this in one sitting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love love love
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would recommend this book to anyone!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm not a big reader but my cousin had recommended the book so i read it and let me just say i could not put it down. i spent the whole day reading it and i just loved it, i would recommended this to anyone and everyone i can't wait to read another one of his books
Guest More than 1 year ago
I get easily distracted when reading a book and I tend to never finish a book when I start reading one. But I could not stop turning the pages of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love James Patterson and this book, just wish he got more detail with the characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great sentimental read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I had never read anything by James, but now look forward to them.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
grandmagGM More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this story but was surprised the outcome as far as Sam was concerned. Patterson definitely has a soft romantic side. Love it.
samieOH More than 1 year ago
on of the best books i have read. I would recommend it to everyone!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down!  I thought is was a great read and a great reminder to never turn away from love.  Plus, it was pretty cool to know that I knew Lake Geneva, Alpine Valley, Chicago and Medinah CC. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was just not what I expected (sic).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading this book on paperback. And I now have a new favorite book. I seriously couldn't put the book down! I finished it in 4 hours! Not because "It's a short read" but because I couldn't put it down. Whoever says "it's a short read" and "the love story sucked" It wasn't and it didn't! Love this book along with its author! New favorite book, and my new favorite author! -Shea
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a neat love story. A delightful and easy read.