How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Bloomsbury!
Previously reviewed by the same author:
Thicker Than Water
Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they’re not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.
I have heard of Brigid Kemmerer’s work long before now, but I’ve only ever read one of her books. Until now! I was really intrigued by the synopsis of Letters To The Lost. I’m so glad I read it and now I’m definitely intrigued to read Brigid’s back catalogue. Letters To The Lost is an emotional, but important read surrounding grief and people’s perceptions of one another.
Letters to the Lost centres around two characters, Juliet and Declan who we hear from throughout the story. Both Juliet and Declan have lost part of their family. Juliet writes letters to her mother and leaves them on her grave. One day, Declan comes across it and feels compelled to reply. They become close through letters and emails although they don’t know who they’re talking to. They know they go to the same school, but they’re scared to reveal themselves. Both Juliet and Declan have judged each other in ‘real life.’ In ‘real life’ they don’t get on. Juliet thinks Declan is a criminal and looks down on him and Declan thinks Juliet is a little stuck up. Throughout the story, the reader is just waiting for the penny to drop and them to realise exactly who they are.
This book is heavy going because of the subject matter. Declan has gone through a lot in his life already. His sister has died, his Dad’s in prison and Declan is doing community service after crashing his father’s car into a building. Everyone in the town judges him and treats him negatively. Juliet was just another person that judged him. Juliet herself is grieving for her mother who died in a tragic accident.
I loved reading their interactions by letters and emails. Declan was known as The Dark and Juliet was Cemetery Girl. Declan really started to come across as a kind, thoughtful person. He was so sweet towards Juliet and really began to open up about the struggles in his life. I took a while to warm to Juliet, but I eventually did, especially during the interactions with Declan online. She was honest about her feelings and encouraging.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It was a deep, raw read. I think if you’re not into dramatic reads then be mindful of that when you go into this book. This book is dramatic because of the issues Declan and Juliet are going through. I think it’s worth reading though. It’s engaging, well written and so easy to read!
Would I recommend it?:
A fantastic, deep read. I will definitely read more from Brigid Kemmerer!