There’s something special about letters (we should write more), and I loved that this story was told by way of Joy’s letters to her sister.
Joy has done something completely out of character for her, and has found herself starting a new role in a new country, away from her family and friends – she is completely out of her comfort zone but through her letters you uncover her character, a bit of an overthinker, sometimes slightly neurotic but also very funny.
It’s a real uplifting story of starting over – it’s one sided being told through only Joy’s letters, but it totally works for the story arc – it’ll have you laughing at loud but also stiffling a few tears if you’re reading in public.
It’s also rare to find a “chick – lit” book written by a man that works so well – I didn’t even realise the author wasn’t a woman – fantastic read!
17 May 2019
It’s me, Joy, your much wiser and (very slightly) older sister. I thought I’d start a new tradition of letter writing – now that we’re long distance.
On the plane over here, I began to cry in seat 21C. I think the magnitude of it finally hit me, after everything that happened…
I haven’t even unpacked yet – the only thing I’ve taken out of my suitcase is Harville, your beloved childhood teddy. Sorry for stealing him, but I need him more than you do. Every time I look at that little brown bear I think about our childhood. Remember that dance we made up to Annie’s ‘It’s a Hard Knock Life’? (Remember the broom choreography?)
I’m also sorry for abandoning you – I’ve always been your agony aunt, and a buffer in your infamous shouting matches with Mum. But I had to leave, Lily, I had to.
Anyway, I’m here now. I’m here to start over, and to face up to the past. I want to learn to laugh again, and to find someone to love who will maybe even love me back. You always told me I was just getting by, not actually living, so I’m finally doing it. Wish me luck, little sister.