It started with a letter…Carol is married to a man she doesn’t love and mother to a daughter she doesn’t understand. Crippled with guilt, she can’t shake the feeling that she has wasted her life. So she puts pen to paper and writes a Letter to the Universe. Albert is a widowed postman, approaching retirement age, and living with his cat, Gloria, for company. Slowly being pushed out at his place of work, he is forced down to the section of the post office where they sort undeliverable mail. When a series of letters turns up with a smiley face drawn in place of an address, he cannot help reading them.
My opinion: After reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry last year, I really liked the look of this book and wanted to see whether it measured up.
I was really pleasantly surprised by this book! It is very easy to read with really vivid characters and definitely lives up to the hype. It follows the soon to be intertwined stories of Albert and Carol as they each face their own crises in their own way. When their paths inadvertently crossed, I was just willing them to come face to face and help them through their problems. I was kept riveted to the end and read huge chunks of the book in each sitting.
I think this book stands out on its own in the way it deals with issues such as illness, aging and love and deserves to be recognised for its own merits rather than merely being compared to a similar novel. This book was touching and heartbreaking in parts, but at no point did it feel depressing or melancholy. An excellent debut.
My rating: Four stars.
I originally reviewed this book at Reading in Progress.