*I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Lost letters have only one hope for survival . . .
Inside the Dead Letters Depot in East London, William Woolf is one of thirty letter detectives who spend their days solving mysteries: Missing postcodes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names – they are all the culprits of missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills and unanswered prayers.
When William discovers letters addressed simplyto ‘My Great Love’ his work takes on new meaning. Written by a woman to a soulmate she hasn’t met yet, the missives stir William in ways he didn’t know were possible. Soon he begins to wonder: Could William be her great love?
William must follow the clues in Winter’s letters to solve his most important mystery yet: the human heart.
I was not prepared for this book.
I was expecting a light mystery-slash-romance novel, but instead found a searing and ruthless examination of a relationship gone wrong. Two people in love who have lost their way from each other, on different paths, and are floundering alone in the space between, both reaching out to desperately try to get back.
Whilst I was interested in the mystery of the lost letters and the ‘Great Love’, I was far more captivated by William and Clare and the intimate insights into their thoughts and feelings.
The writing is raw and emotional; the story rings of truth and unutterable sadness. Yet amidst the turmoil there is still light and hope. There is still silliness and kindness, friendship, care and the memories of better times.
Whilst I really liked the main characters, and was rooting for their happiness all the way, they were definitely human and flawed: at times I got exasperated with William’s wishy-washiness and I could have screamed at Clare for her critical judgements on others’ choices! Still I loved the development of both characters as the story progressed and the very honest motivations for their actions throughout.
Don’t pick up this book expecting a light-hearted jaunt through the lost letter depot: pick it up and sink into a deeply emotional personal journey of two people once meant for each other as they slowly recognise that true love can change.
In a vault of football-field proportions hidden below Shoreditch High Street, row upon row of the peculiar flotsam and jetsam of life awaited salvation: pre-war toy soldiers, vinyl records, military memorabilia, astrology charts, paintings, pounds and pennies, wigs, musical instruments, fireworks, soap, cough mixture, uniforms, fur coats, boxes of buttons, chocolates, photo albums, porcelain tea-cups and saucers, teddy bears, medical samples, seedlings, weapons, lingerie, fossils, dentures, feathers, gardening tools, books, books, books. Copious myths and legends passed from one colleague to another; stories of the once lost but now found.
– Helen Cullen, The Lost Letters of William Woolf
You can find more from Helen Cullen at her website here or follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Lost Letters of William Woolf releases on Amazon on 12th July 2018.