Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book Review - Letters for Emily by Camron Wright

Letters for Emily by Camron Wright

Grandpa was dying from Alzheimer's disease, and so he decided to write a book of poems for his granddaughter, Emily, while he was still alert. As Emily and her parents and relatives read the letters later, they were full of riddles - what did they mean? Could it have been a hidden fortune? Or something else?

I read this book soon after The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright (see my review here). In fact, I went to the library specifically to borrow The Wednesday Letters, and then found this book nearby since the author's last names were the same. The premise sounded inspiring, and I ended up liking this book a bit more than The Wednesday Letters - but mostly because of the riddles. It was fun to try to solve the riddles, but of course the story was written for the characters, not the readers, to solve the riddles, so we did not always have enough clues or were exposed to every riddles (sometimes we just got the answer - the message - instead.)

The writing was just okay, similar to others I had read in this genre. There wasn't a lot of character development, so you don't really get to know them, as it focused more on the message. It just didn't get as emotional or touching as I hoped it would be. It was interesting to learn that the author was inspired to write this story based on writings from his own grandfather.

I did found a couple of quotes I liked:

This disease is a thief. It begins with short spells of forgetfulness, but before it's finished, it steals everything. It takes your favorite color, the smell of your favorite food, the night of your first kiss, your love of golf. (p2)

Parents are strange and wonderful creatures. When you're small they seem bright, shiny, and invincible. As you grow, that image starts to fade. It's a sobering moment, but the time will come when you realize they are not the heroes you imagined. They are just people struggling to do the best they can, just the same as you are. You will feel let down, betrayed, even ashamed. This is the time, Emily, when you need to forgive your parents for being human. (p179). 

3.5 / 5 .

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  1. Oh definitely want to read this one. Any good books about Alzheimhers I want to read.

    And I rememeber enjoying Wednesday Letters more than you so sounds like a good match.

    First quote so sad and true, breaks my heart. And 2nd quote, sigh, they are just being human, yup.

  2. @Marce - I think you'd like this one since I think you like this genre more than I do (e.g. like the Wednesday Letters) and it has a bit of a mystery element to it regarding the riddles. Those two quotes really speak to me too.