Sam is a school teacher that lives in the house that he grew up in. His mother has passed away, visits his dad at the nursing home frequently, and has a very special connection with him.
When his dad passes Sam has a hard time accepting this, but also has a hard time accepting what his dad’s wishes were for him in order for him to get his inheritance. His father wrote him letters and each letter has a destination that Sam is supposed to leave some of his ashes at. Most of the places were places they went on vacation together and had great memories.
On only his second trip of this excursion he found a lovely girl, Rachel, that seems to be everything he could have ever wanted in a girl. As his love for Rachel builds so does his work conflicts, and and his love for his father.
This story is incredibly touching in so many ways. It shows love in many situations: a love in a relationship, a love within a family, and a love for his job. Now for my review!
Well first, the book starts off with a William Faulkner quote. From this point on I knew that I was going to love this book since I love Faulkner’s writing! Also, this book shows Sam who is training for his first marathon. For myself I found this so amazing since I was a competitive runner for a good bit of my life and did love the sport. Sam goes into detail about what he is feeling on these runs and they normally tie in with what he is feeling in his everyday life and I thought that was a great way to tie everything in. It also is so true that runners think about everything else in their lives while on runs, not always the run itself.
The journey itself, while it takes a while to complete, was so very special and with each envelope Sam receives we get more and more of his dad and it is incredibly touching. When things start to go south with his relationship with Rachel it isn’t all fine and dandy in his other areas in his life. He faces issues with people at work, with the work itself and within himself. I think it is very important to note that in this situation it was very lifelike since something in one area of your life can affect other areas of your life without you meaning to. It made the story and Sam more believable and easier to connect with since we could see how he was feeling and the direct impact it had on other areas.
Now for the biggest part of my review! This would be how the story is told. It’s told at a different pace, and in a completely different mindset (in my opinion). It feels like it is being told like Sam is saying it to someone. It is told in a way that Sam goes off on some tangents. When his first date with Rachel doesn’t go well he states how it was very embarrassing in a way that it felt like he was telling you about it. I think with this book being so sentimental it was such a great way to tell the story. It really felt like I was being told this story by a friend. I became fully invested in the story and in Sam’s life.
This book really pulled some heartstrings in just the right way. It was told in a way that I did not want it to end, I wanted there to be more letters I wanted there to be more and more and more. It is truly an amazing story and I highly recommend this book.
Also, the cover is completely beautiful which is such a plus!