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Book Review: How Many Letters Are in Goodbye?

Title: How Many Letters Are in Goodbye?
Author: Yvonne Cassidy
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5
Reviewer: Julia

When I first started this book, I really wasn't expecting the story that I ended up reading. Almost everything that happened in the book was unexpected. I did not think that I would like this book as much as I did. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised.

How Many Letters Are in Goodbye? is constructed of the letters that Rhea Farrell writes to her mother, who happens to be dead. The story starts off with Rhea living on the streets of late 1990s New York City. At this point, she has lived almost 18 years of her life, and it hasn't been the easiest. Not only has her mother passed away (with a questionable death, too), but she was taken away from the life that she knew in Ireland over to the United States when her father also passed on. In the states, she was to live with her aunt, Ruth, her aunt's boyfriend, Cooper, and his daughter, Laurie, and new problems arise. With this kind of background, she has a lot of things to carry on her shoulders. This also makes a pretty interesting plot. Oh, and there's also the big plot twist at the end.


That plot twist was something I completely was not expecting. It made the book very interesting. Finally, when I thought I was starting to get a sense of where the book was going, it made a sharp turn in the other direction. The scary unknown that suddenly spread out before me honestly shocked me. That doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy it, though. No. I happily ate it up.

But it wasn't just the plot that I enjoyed in this book. I also liked the self-discovery element of the book that was portrayed as Rhea learned more about herself and dug deeper into her feelings. The themes of love and family that were also in the book made my heart swell, and like with my favorite book, The Light Between Oceans, I couldn't help but continuously read the last 50 or so pages until I was at the end. Yes, that's right: I enjoyed it that much.

Rhea was so strong, too. I would find it hard not to fall in love with a character with that kind of personality. But one of the things that I especially like about this book is that, even though Rhea seemed to be so incredibly strong ("You don't do fear," one of the characters in the book had said), she really wasn't all that strong. Sure, she had been through a lot and had pushed through it, but these scars and events deeply impacted her. She was struggling. It was wonderful to see her overcome everything.

In the end, I don't really think that there is enough that I could say about this book. It was strong, and raw, and so impossibly wonderful.

Comments

  1. Sounds like a good book -- I'll have to put it on my ever-growing list of books to read! (I still have to read The Light Between Oceans!)

    ReplyDelete

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