Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Rating: 5/5 Stars
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
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.
Thank you so much to Bloomsbury for sending an Arc copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.
“Every emotion came through the paper, as if the ink and dust and smudges from her sweat lent weight to the words, and I could sense her fear, her hope, and her courage.”
You can’t judge a book by its cover. Same goes for judging a person…or can you? When Juliet loses her mother due to an unseen circumstance, she continues to write letters to her and leaves them on her grave. These letters would be left unattended, that is until Declan Murphy stumbles upon one of them and makes the mistake of reading it. Since that day, everything has changed for both of them.
Writing responses to one another without knowing who the other is, they rely on each other. They provide courage, hope, and understanding, as they have both been through a recent death in their lives. The storyline weaves a tale of grief, hatred, love and forgiveness, as well as learning to not judge people by their appearance and their past actions/mistakes. Everyone’s lives are full of second chances, you have to meet the people that are willing to give them to you.
As the characters reveal more about themselves throughout the chapters, the more you begin to fall for them. Not only do Juliet and Declan capture the reader, but also their best friends, Rowan and Rev. All characters need the support that friends provide. They are there when you need them most, which happens a lot during the story.
The reoccurring theme of “we are all free to choose our own paths” can be inputted into a variety of situations that occur in the writing. Both Juliet and Declan have to overcome their past in order to make the future better.
Without giving away too many hints, there is one point in the book that I wanted to mention. Since Juliet’s mother was a photographer, this has affected Juliet both emotionally and physically as well. To prove how authors are relating real-life news into their writing, Kemmerer mentions Humans of New York. Now for those who don’t know what that is, it is a photographer that goes around New York taking pictures of people and telling their stories. Another example of not judging people by their appearance.
This book is fabulously written, and everyone deserves to read such a beautifully written story.