More Than Love Letters by Rosy Thornton

1215720Fiction — print. Headline Review, 2006. 338 pgs. Received from PaperBackSwap.

Margaret Hayton is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs, and she sends letter after letter of complaint in order to encourage change. But her letters of complaint to Richard Slater MP receive the standard form letter of empty promises, and Margaret figures that getting Richard to do anything is a lost cause.

That is, until against all reason, Richard invites Margaret to attend his next constituency surgery. When he meets the twenty-something woman, though, he finds that he wants nothing more than to help Margaret change the world and lose her heart.

I eagerly anticipated reading this book after reading Thornton’s The Tapestry of Love. I feel in love with her vivid imagery and heart-wrenching descriptions yet I opened this book to find a series of letters and emails. Other British modern romance novels I have read have used letters to advance the plot, but I believe this might be the first book I have read that consists entirely of emails and letters.

In addition to exchanging letters with Richard, Margaret sends emails to her best friend, Becs, and her grandmother. Letters from Margaret’s landlady, Cora, to her husband working on an oil rig in the North Sea, emails from Richard to his closest friend, and minutes from the local women’s group working to end homelessness are also included. And through these meeting minutes and letters, we get to learn who Margaret and Richard are and watch their romance unfold.

It’s an different way of presenting a story and, honestly, is a celebration of the lost art of letter writing. Even the emails are incredibly descriptive. That said, this story did not draw me as I had expected it to. And some of the events — well, I cannot believe that someone who actually pass along such dark information in an email.  Overall, it is a nice story but nothing about it really stands apart in my mind.

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