Seven Letters: A Novel

Seven Letters: A Novel

by J. P. Monninger


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J. P. Monninger, author of the international bestseller The Map That Leads to You, the novel Nicholas Sparks called “romantic and unforgettable", tells a poignant love story of the ways the world divides two souls—and the way that love brings them together.

Kate Moreton is in Ireland on sabbatical from her teaching position at Dartmouth College when she meets Ozzie Ferriter, a fisherman and a veteran of the American war in Afghanistan. The Ferriter family history dates back centuries on the remote Blasket Islands, and Ozzie – a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States – has retreated to the one place that might offer him peace from a war he cannot seem to leave behind.

Beside the sea, with Ireland’s beauty as a backdrop, the two fall deeply in love and attempt to live on an island of their own making, away from the pressures of the outside world. Ireland writes its own love stories, the legends claim, and the limits of Kate and Ozzie’s love and faith in each other will be tested. When his demons lead Ozzie to become reckless with his life—and Kate’s—she flees for America rather than watch the man she loves self-destruct. But soon a letter arrives informing Kate that her heroic husband has been lost at sea, and Kate must decide whether it is an act of love to follow him or an act of mercy to forget.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250187697
Publisher: St. Martin''s Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 86,640
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

J.P. MONNINGER, author of The Map That Leads to You, is an award-winning writer in New England and Professor of English at Plymouth State University.

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Seven Letters 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Henna 2 days ago
I didn't expect to enjoy this book as much as I did, since it was a romance, but the scenery and the characters had me from the start. It was for the most part a peaceful, dreamy read, but then there were the rough seas, both literally and figuratively! I found it hard to put down. I'm really glad that I didn't read enough reviews or spoilers to be clued in on the ending, and I would suggest that you also resist that temptation! You will thank me later. I found it interesting, lovely, peaceful, exciting, maddening, sad, poignant, rueful, retrospective, thoughtful and hopeful. Many thanks to Net Galley, JP Monninger and the publisher for the ARC, in return for an honest review.
JM Free Kicks Fiction 3 days ago
The theme of this book is set right from the opening Irish tale of love lost due to foolish (or selfish) choices. The author traces one woman’s journey over many years, paralleling the fable from the prologue. I enjoyed reading Kate and Ozzie’s story. I thought the author did an incredible job with detail, especially when it came to the Blasket Islands. Reading those stories made me curious about the realities, and I researched them further; what I found was fascinating. I also liked how the author made the point that there is often another side to people that even those closest cannot see. There is so much truth to that. I definitely recommend this book. For a complete review, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction Reviews. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for a complimentary digital ARC of this book.
EileenHutton 4 days ago
This is the story of Kate and Ozzie. Kate is an academic, researching the stories of the Blasket Islanders of Ireland. Ozzie is an American with dual citizenship, an Irish fisherman and a veteran of Afghanistan. Their whirlwind love affair becomes a rush to the altar, but trouble soon breaks them. When Kate, back in America, hears that Ozzie has been killed helping Syrian refugees, she begins a quest to understand the man she married.
brf1948 5 days ago
I received a free electronic copy of this novel On August 4, 2019, from Netgalley, J. P. Monninger, and St. Martins Press - Griffin. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me. I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest personal opinion of this work. This is a book I will want to read again, by an author I will follow. Kate Moreton is a member of the teaching staff at Dartmouth working on her dissertation, a close family history of the settlement of the Blasket Islands off the south and west coasts of Ireland, and then the removal of those settlers by the Irish Land Commission in 1953. She has received a scholarship that will allow her to spend a semester in that area, doing research and taking oral histories to add those stories of her father, deceased these last 4 years, and the memories and histories of the enclave of Blasket Islanders who immigrated and settled, along with her family, in the Springfield/Chicopee areas of Massachusetts. She has already a lot of information and feels that a few months on the site will finish her work, and she can move on. J. P. Monninger takes us to those isles, that isolated part of Ireland, her words providing a clear picture of that area, making real the heartbreak being removed from those islands and that way of life was for her family and others. Kate meets many interesting people on her travels to Dingle Peninsula, the dropping off place for the Islands. Most notably she is touched by ancient Nora Crean and her sidekick Shamus. Not to mention Nora's grandson Ozzie Ferriter, a fellow American and military veteran who recently served in Afghanistan. Already she is feeling immersed in the lore that is Ireland. From Dingle, she makes her way to the University of Limerick, where she will live in a small apartment and have a free hand at the associated library to work on her research. It is summer, so many of the carrels at the library are not being used, but Kate gets along well with the occasional drop-in and finds herself with growing friendships among the staff at the university. And then she meets again Ozzie and finds herself falling hard, almost against her will, for this troubled man. And as are most who love those deeply damaged by war, she cannot find a way to reach him, help him, even understand him. But once back home, neither can she forget him. This is an excellent novel with much information and interaction with the refugee problems in Europe and Africa, an exceptional look at what can and cannot be done to help those refugees find asylum, all tied up in an interesting tour of New England Winter and Italy's involvement in the Syrian crisis. It sounds complicated, but it all folds together through seven letters, to and from various protagonists. This is a special read.
Krittie28 5 days ago
I received an ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley. Synopsis: Kate Moreton is in Ireland on sabbatical from her teaching position at Dartmouth College when she meets Ozzie Ferriter, a fisherman and a veteran of the American war in Afghanistan. The Ferriter family history dates back centuries on the remote Blasket Islands, and Ozzie – a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States – has retreated to the one place that might offer him peace from a war he cannot seem to leave behind. Beside the sea, with Ireland’s beauty as a backdrop, the two fall deeply in love and attempt to live on an island of their own making, away from the pressures of the outside world. Ireland writes its own love stories, the legends claim, and the limits of Kate and Ozzie’s love and faith in each other will be tested. When his demons lead Ozzie to become reckless with his life—and Kate’s—she flees for America rather than watch the man she loves self-destruct. But soon a letter arrives informing Kate that her heroic husband has been lost at sea, and Kate must decide whether it is an act of love to follow him or an act of mercy to forget. (less) Review: This is the first book I've read by J.P. Monninger.. After reading this one, it won't be the last! It is a book that gives you all the feels. It is an emotional rollercoaster that goes full throttle. It is almost hard to find words to actually review the book since it left me in that sad space of not having more words to read. The book is very moving. The tale it tells is magnificently done and may be one of 2019's best reads for me this year!
Caroldaz 6 days ago
Although I lived in England for many years, I never got to see Ireland. Reading this book made me regret not seeing Ireland. The descriptions of the land were wonderful and I did have to look up many mentioned places to learn more. Kate is in Ireland doing research. She meets Ozzie, a fisherman, and there is an instand connection between them. The love becomes intense, so intense it engulfs them completely. There is a tragedy, a separation and finally Kate knows the real Ozzie. An emotional, heart-wrenching story with an absolutely perfect ending! I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Dogs-love2read2 6 days ago
This is one of the best books I've read this year. It's a love story full of adventure and characters that come alive in the most wonderful way. It's definitely not a run of the mill love story. I was at times surprised and heartbroken as the story progressed. Kate is a college professor who is studying the people who once lived on Blasket Isand off the coast of Ireland. Once landed in Ireland, Kate is looking for a seat on a crowded bus and just as she sees a vacant bench Kate is invited to sit with an older gentleman. He tells her the vacant seats must be reserved for someone important. A well appointed elderly lady is helped into those seats. Kate helps this woman and is given a card with her phone number. Nora or Gran wants to repay Kate's kindness with a visit to her home. This is where she meets Ozzie Nora's grandson. Don't miss the chance to read this book. It's great! I received an Advanced Reader's Copy from the author and St Martin's through NetGalley. The opinions expressed are completely my own. #SevenLetters #NetGalley
dlvandruff 6 days ago
Ria Parker grew up in the system, moving from foster home to foster home. Now as a Parker, even a divorced one. She is a member of one of the richest families. Her mother in law May is a strong matriarch running the Parker business with a firm hand. Five years ago her husband abandoned her and their daughter. May helped her get a good lawyer for the divorce. Even though Ria makes a good living on her own as an investigative reporter, May insists on helping her financially. When Ria received incriminating emails that can put the family in the public eye, she know that only the best computer hacker can help her solve the case. That person is her ex-husband. Personalities clash and push comes to shove. The ending filled with twists and turns will leave you reeling in your seat. Great psychological thriller!
Nanna51 6 days ago
This novel is not one that I would normally pick up and read since it is mostly romance, and not even a totally believable romance, at that. Kate is on sabbatical from her teaching position in Dartmouth and has decided to spend her time in the Blasket Islands in Ireland. There she meets a fisherman with dual citizenship in the U.S. and in Ireland, but he has no plans to return to the U.S. since he is recovering from serving in the war in Afghanistan. Both Ozzie and Kate seem to have issues, but Kate is telling the story so she is the one about whom we learn the most. Kate and Ozzie fall in love way too quickly and get married so fast that it made my head spin. Then, Ozzie begins to behave strangely and Kate flees back to the U.S. The whole story was magical if wholly unbelievable. Readers of contemporary fiction and romance will enjoy this tale set mostly in Ireland with a lot of action in the United States as well. Although it was not my cup of tea, I am certain that others will find the magic in this love story and thoroughly enjoy it. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
JReppy 7 days ago
I very much enjoyed this book; 4.5 stars. This will probably not be the selling point for most readers, but one of the aspects of the book I enjoyed the most was the research on, history of, and exploration of the Blasket Islands off the west coast of Ireland, as Kate Moreton, the protagonist, learns more about her family history and works on her dissertation, which focuses on narratives of the former residents of the islands, especially the women who lived there. [Of course, having Irish ancestry, a degree in History, and having enjoyed the time I have spent in Ireland (though never on the west coast), that aspect of the story was a perfect fit for me.] The author created wonderful characters to assist Kate in her research and to really experience Ireland at its purest with Nora Crean (Gran), Seamus, Ozzie (the grandson of Gran and the eventual love interest of Kate), Bertie, and some of the University of Limerick staff, especially Daijeet. The burgeoning relationship between Ozzie and Kate, which does not get off to the most propitious start, is entertaining, enjoyable, romantic, and passionate. Of course, the happiness cannot last, and Kate begins to realize that there are aspects of Ozzie's personality (which is shaped in part by his service in Afghanistan) that she does not really understand and possibly cannot handle; their marriage is not what she imagined. The second half of the book focuses on their separation, Kate trying to figure herself out, and her life becoming undone again when Ozzie re-enters her life in a most unexpected and unfortunate way, but the unexpected event gives her the opportunity to better understand her husband and herself. The book explores love, loss, expectations, how we really don't know each other or even truly know ourselves, and the power and grace of being vulnerable with someone. I received a copy of the book via NetGalley in exchange for a review.
jbarr5 8 days ago
Seven Letters by J. P. Monninger Story of Irish folklore about an island and man wants to go back to his birthplace and he knows once he touches the ground he will age. On the island they stay the same age. She'd not be able to help hmm return to her if he left.... Each phase of the story comes to light from a letter that is written. Similar to a movie i watched about aqua-man where his mother is the fairy who leaves... Love the technology and how it's used to introduce others who are not tech inclined as to how it works. She's on a path to do her doctorate and heads to Ireland and meets many on the way and they come to take her to tie island with a picnic lunch. The men take her around the island walking and talking about history and how people lived back then. Interesting: Rock charm and purifying her new space at the university. Feel as if I'm on a tour of Ireland, so cool that so many details are given. Kate finds herself attracted to Ozzy, gram's grandson... Endless days and weeks on the water, new islands to explore to help with her dissertation and she finds time to spend back at her university apartment. They live like nomads and decide to just go for it. I was surprised! Not much time for bicycle girls but others she keeps attracting. Adult situations. Storm at sea does things to their relationship.... News about her research and tragedy strikes as she had just begun her new life and she heads back to where they met to find out the details.... Her BFF comes to her rescue being with her. Lots of travel and very descriptive details of places to visit... Miracles do happen and love how the ending comes full circle. Acknowledgments at the end. Received this review copy from the St. Martins Press via NetGalley and this is my honest opinion.
Fredreeca2001 9 days ago
Kate is working on her PhD. She has decided to research the history of the Blasket Islands. She takes a sabbatical and takes off to study in Ireland. She never planned to fall in love. 
 At first, I did not feel a very strong connection between Kate and Ozzie. Basically because I thought of Ozzie as self centered and self absorbed. And Kate should have never accepted some of his excuses. As a matter of fact, I almost abandoned this tale because I disliked Ozzie so much. However, as their love grows, so does my belief in him. The scenery and the rich history of the Blasket Islands is what makes this tale. This is a beautifully written story. I bet the movie will be fantastic with the Irish coast as a setting. Nothing like researching a new place!
ExtremeDamage 9 days ago
This was my first time reading this author, and one the things I loved the most about the experience was to be surprised by the strong narrative voice, the fantastic writing and the story itself. The descriptive level took me to a beautiful place because it wasn’t hard to feel I was there with the characters, witnessing their story unfold. And what a story, my friends. Kate goes to Ireland to write a thesis and ends up falling deeply and madly in love with Ozzie, and they quickly built a bubble, a little island, around them to keep the world apart from them. But there’s a thing about those “fast and furious” romances, and that’s you don’t really know the person you’re with, his or her past, his or her secrets, what will make him or her smile, and what will break you apart. And Ozzie is one of those persons that doesn’t share his burdens but keep them inside him. The story was pretty romantic. Heartbreaking for some moments, but beautiful nevertheless. It takes many twists and turns as Kate grows into an adult, also take us on a journey to discover what true love, trust and forgiveness are about. Seven Letters is one of those stories that will keep you turning pages and guessing until the very end. So, if romance is your jam, I definitely recommend giving this book a chance.
Crystal61 9 days ago
For me, this story started a little slow. I was not sure where it was going. Kate was a go getter and had an opportunity of a life time. She met Ozzie who was a difficult person for me to like. As the story progressed, I became invested in this couple. They were surrounded by some wonderful characters who helped along the way. When things turned a little dark, my heart was hurting as well. For the last quarter of the book, I was crying on and off, and was so relieved to have a happy ending. I recommend this story. I received an ARC as a gift, and this is my unsolicited review.
Momma_Becky 10 days ago
3.5 stars Seven Letters is beautifully written, and Monninger certainly knows how to paint a scene. It actually felt like more time was spent on the setting than on the love story, or maybe it was that those were some of my favorite parts. The romance was good, not great, but good, but that could be due to a lack of connection with Kate. I just never quite warmed up to her. I've seen that this one is headed for the silver screen, so I'm anxious to see how it all translates to film. I'm hoping to find Kate a little easier to like, and I can't wait for the terrific scenery described. In the end, Seven Letters fell just short of a really good story and landed somewhere in the mid-range for me.
CherryPie0420 11 days ago
I started this novel with high hopes that were quickly dashed when this novel went from one that piqued my historical and cultural curiosities to one of a passionate, self-absorbed relationship that was hard for me to read. Though it was told from only Kate's point of view I struggled to connect with either her or Ozzie, especially when I wasn't allowed to hear his side of the story. The selfishness of the heroine is astounding and the Kate/Ozzie dynamic so nauseating that at about the halfway mark I felt like giving up, but I held out hope that the narrative would improve. For me, it didn't. Normally I am a sucker for a good romance but the entire story did not bode well with me. The writing was good but felt choppy at times and I found myself skimming quite a bit, especially the last half, fighting to make it to the end. In saying that, I fell in love with the imagery and reading about Ireland and the Blasket Islands, and wish the love story wouldn't have tarnished this enchanting portrayal of a forgotten history. The story does go into an interesting direction, which at first showed promise, but then it quickly went back to being foreseeable. I really wanted to love this story but sadly it was a huge disappointment for me. *I have reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from St. Martin's Griffin through NetGalley. All opinions are completely honest, and my own.
EileenAW 11 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Seven Letters by J.P. Monninger and found it an emotional and amazing book. Kate Moreton take a sabbatical from her teaching so to research in Ireland the women of Blasket Island. In Dingle she meets Ozzie Ferriter, a fisherman and veteran of the American war on Afghanistan. The Ferriter family history is tied to the remote Blasket Islands and Ozzie, a citizen of both the US and Ireland, returned to the one place that might offer him peace from a war he is unable to forget and leave behind. Kate and Ozzie fit together like yin and yang, or two puzzle pieces. They each have so much love for the other, which brings them together; leaving their life in a world of their creation. When Ozzie’s demons drive him to become reckless with his life, and Kate’s, she makes the hardest decision ever; leave Ozzie and return to America instead of watching him self-destruct. When Kate receives word that Ozzie has been lost at sea she reacts as a woman still in love with her husband; searching for clues, evidence, answers to the truth of who Ozzie was. Warning: keep tissues nearby while reading this book. Mr. Monninger wrote an amazing tale, using words to visualize the beauty of the location and history of the land. Kate and Ozzie were life-like character, sharing a love so strong, that their souls are joined. I highly recommend Seven Letters to other readers. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
nfam 11 days ago
Falling in Love in Ireland Kate Moreton has always been in love with Ireland from the stories told by her father. Now she has a research fellowship in Limerick to finish her dissertation about the Blasket Islands. She plans to work and immerse herself in the land, but almost immediately she meets Ozzie Ferriter, a man whose family has a long history in the islands. Kate has no plans to fall in love, but Ozzie is an insistent suitor. Finally, on a whim she marries him thinking it will all turn out perfectly. Ozzie, however, is a man whose demons have followed him from the war in Afganistan. Finally, Kate retreats to the safety of her academic life in the US, but the story is far from over. The best part of this book, for me, is the description of Ireland and the Blasket Islands. You can smell the peat fires, see the sea views, and the green hills. It made me want to go and see it for myself. The love story is also captivating. Kate is a conflicted character. She starts the novel not wanting an attachment. She’s in Ireland to work, but Ozzie is insistent, and she falls prey to the magic of the area. Ozzie is an interesting character. He has his demons, but he’s basically a good person. I felt even with the difficulties that he loved Kate. This is a wonderful romance. The writing is poetic and, if you enjoy a character driven novel, this is a good one. I received this book from St. Martin’s Press for this review.
Tink4evr 11 days ago
This is a story that tugs at the heartstrings. Katie is on a working vacation in Scotland. She is a little lost and is trying to do research for a book. She is focused and determined to succeed in her career. On the journey there she meets Nora who introduces her to her grandson Ozzie. Ozzie is an Afghanistan veteran suffering the effects of all the evil he saw and participated in. He feels guilty and covers it by drinking. After a rocky start the two get married and start their life together. Things do not go well and while they are separated Ozzie is presumed dead at sea. The story looks at the regrets you can live with when you don’t take the time to get to know the person you love. Katie goes on a journey to try and find Ozzie and discover who he truly was. It also leads to self discovery and back to each other.
DJTP 11 days ago
Seven Letters by J. P. Monninger, a new to me author that I haven’t read any books by before. It wasn’t a top read for me but a still okay book. Enjoyed the setting and character development. I look forward to checking out future books by author.
MKF 11 days ago
Oh sigh. Kate, a PhD candidate doing research in Limerick, luckily meets Nora on a bus and then, more critically, meets her grandson Ozzie. This is really the love story between Kate and Ozzie (I thought there would be more about, ahem, the Blasket Islands, which I found most interesting). Ozzie came back from service in Afghanistan with issues, which Kate is warned about but doesn't fully understand. There's a fair amount of sweeping off her feet (complete with a cute puppy and steamy love) and then despair when things go awry. Ozzie's a heroic character by his acts, which aren't fully explained til the end. Some of the better characters, such as the bicycle women, appear and then are dropped, although Milly does stick through to the end. Much drama (almost but not quite of the heaving bosom variety) that might suit others more than it did me. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC. This one had me wanting to book a trip to Ireland.
trosado 11 days ago
4.75 Stars!! A number of years ago I randomly picked up a book called Whippoorwill and started reading while waiting for a friend. That friend's appearance was the only reason I set it down. I had been immediately drawn into the fabulous writing and since then, I've made it a habit to read each new release by this author. I haven't been disappointed yet. After reading the blurb, I knew that I was going to fall in love with Seven Letters, but I hadn't realized how much. I was taken in by the beautiful prose, creative imagery, and evocative storytelling. This had all the makings of fantastic women's fiction, but then strengthened by the passionate romance between Ozzie and Kate. I was caught up in their whirlwind as much as they were and then equally devastated, elated, heartbroken, and healed. So many emotions. There was a point in the book just after 80% where the pacing slowed with some extraneous and unnecessary information, but it picked back up quickly and moved right along to a powerful and rewarding ending. It was almost not worth mentioning, since it was another fabulous story by this author, regardless. I'm still determined to read this author's back list, but until then, I will look forward to every new release.
RobinLovesReading 11 days ago
In this touching story by J. P. Monninger, Kate Moreton Has taken a sabbatical and is visiting Ireland. She is a New Englander and what she hopes to accomplish on this trip brings her a mixture of joy and sadness. When Kate first meets Ozzie Ferriter, a fisherman there, and also a man that is a war veteran, he touches her heart. However Ozzie has an innate sadness that love cannot even conquer. Ozzie and Kate spent an idyllic time together but things eventually fall apart. Kate feels she has no choice but to return home to leave Ozzie to fight his battles. However something happens that changes Kate’s entire outlook and ultimately her life. Whenever you read a story with a character that has been affected by war, it is very hard not to be drawn into it. Such is the case with this thought-provoking book. As much is this story dealt with Ozzie’s situation, Kate’s story held quite a bit of depth that kept me turning pages. The ending of the story was really, really good. I expected one thing and got another, and I applaud the author for keeping me at the edge of my seat page after page. I look forward to reading more by him in the future. Many thanks to St. Martin’s for this book for review. This is my honest opinion.