*Just a gentle note, this review may contain small spoilers*
You know when you read a book and right from the very first page, you know you’re going to love this book and want to savour every single word? Well, that’s what happened with me and this book. I’ve been seeing this book all over my social media – and how can you not with that gorgeous cover?! So, I ordered a copy as soon as possible… so, what’s it all about? This is what the blurb says:
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 simply to ‘My Great Love’ his work takes a new meaning. Written by a woman named Winter to a soulmate she hasn’t met yet, the missives stir William in ways he didn’t know where 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.
Sounds good, right? I’m not lying when I say that this book is not only one of (if not, the) book of the year for me, but one of my favourite books of all time. It’s the sort of book that you can snuggle up with, reading with a cup of something warm and inviting. For me, it’s the perfect book for Autumn and I’d have published this book then. Right from the first page, you are hooked.
The writing is beautiful, lyrical, wonderfully descriptive and just all-round brilliant. There are words, sentences, paragraphs and passages that are so good that you just want to highlight over and over. It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a leading character as I usually like the other characters in the books. But I loved William, you could just see him in the depot swooning over letters from Winter, being excited by the next lost letter on his desk. I’m not going to lie, I did have some Arthur Christmas vibes coming from William. This is a brilliant book that will be brilliant on the screen as the book is so visual throughout.
Our time will come, won’t it love?
All of the characters in this book are so well written. Through the lost letters and packages, just like William, we are introduced to different characters who all have their own different and unique tale to tell. Other than William and Winter, we have William’s wife, Clare, who shares the narrative with William. I liked Clare and then I didn’t like Clare. It was the same with William, they did something that you won’t agree with or say something, but you will still be rooting for them. That’s what makes these characters so great – they are real human people, flaws and all.
Other than beautiful characters, for me, the strength of Helen’s writing is the writing of relationships between people. The marriage between Clare and William is far from perfect; they are in a rough patch of their relationship and are struggling to find a way out. The big questions of the novel is: who’s ‘the one’?, Have you met ‘the one?’, How do you know when you meet ‘the one’? Is there someone out there who’s ‘the one’? I really enjoyed this exploration of relationships and marriage. Very well-written and told sensitively and not over-the-top.
I can’t say it enough: I loved this book. I loved the characters, the beautiful writing of relationships and love. I loved the descriptions of Ireland – it really made me want to walk the streets just like William did, minus the downpour. There’s a lot of books out there at the moment about letter-writing. It might have gone out of fashion, lost in time, but it looks like it’s coming back and William Woolf is there to figure them all out.
I hope this letter finds you, and finds you well.
Go and read this beautiful book of complex relationships, beautiful characters, the questions of ‘the one’. It’s a book so clever and brilliant that you would have wished you wrote it. That cover will stand out on your bookshelves but the story is even brighter, bigger, bolder. You won’t regret it. And, that ending…
I can’t wait to see what Helen Cullen writes next…
Have you read The Lost Letters of William Woolf? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!