Title: The Letter
Author: Willa Okati
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Buy Link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M, interracial
Length: short story (approximately 40 pages)
Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5
Letters are funny things, you know? A piece of paper with some handwritten words can change a person’s life…
The time has come for them to go their separate ways. It’s been a hard decision for two men so very much in love, but Luke and his partner Brandon are parting so that Luke can head to New York and follow his dreams. It seems, however, that someone or something doesn’t want Luke to leave his beloved. He and Brandon discover a chest of letters in their attic which details their relationship down to the last moment — except that these letters were written in 1948.
Should they listen to the guidance given by the mysterious writer of the letters? Should they give in to the urge to stay together, no matter what? Should Brandon fight for his man?
The answer is in the final letter…
Luke had been Brandon’s partner and lover for 5 years, but he was leaving that night to start a new job and a new life in New York City. The job was an opportunity that only came along once in a lifetime and Luke couldn’t justify turning it down. It was his dream job, but unfortunately Brandon, whom he loved with all his heart, could not leave his job as a teacher of special needs kids because he would be almost impossible to replace, and even if he would accompany him to New York, that was not something that Luke could ask of him. It was a no-win situation where in order for one of them to fulfil the dream of a lifetime the other one would be left behind.
Before Luke left for good he and Brandon would love each other one more time and store up memories for those lonely nights they would each experience in the future. When Brandon came home there was one thing on their minds – to make their last time memorable. At the end Brandon said those three little words that he had never said before, “please don’t go,” but the die was cast, the deal was sealed, and Luke was too far along on his new path to turn back now.
While Brandon was in the shower Luke went up into the attic to collect his suitcases to start packing, as well as get a few mementos, and it was then he noticed a small, beautifully carved chest that drew him like a magnet. When he opened the chest there were about 100 letters in it left by one of the previous owners, most likely a member of Brandon’s family since the house was his. The first letter was too strange to be believed. When he took the chest to Brandon and they started reading the other letters it was as if they had been transported into the past – 1948 to be exact, more than 60 years ago, because the letters had been written by two men named Luke and Brandon whose circumstances were identical to theirs.
Luke could not leave for his new job until he read all the letters, which meant that he had to change his flight to the next morning. The letters recounted the lives of the other men since they first met 5 years before and the impending decision of one of them to leave for a new opportunity. Was this fate or an eerie coincidence? What was most important was that the letters revealed more of Brandon’s feelings about Luke’s decision than Luke ever understood. How was it possible that two other men who lived more than 60 years earlier would share the same experience?
There are two other twists to the story which I won’t reveal – you will have to read the book to find out what happened in the end! 😀
I loved The Letter when I first read it and I still do. This is not a paranormal story but you have to suspend disbelief about some aspects. The best thing about books is that the authors write the story they want to and the readers decide whether they like the way their imagination works and if the story appeals. This is by no means the best book that I have ever read and you may not understand why I like it so much, I’m not sure even I understand it, but this story resonated with me as did the protagonists who almost threw away the best thing in their lives because they didn’t communicate with each other. The Letter made a deep impression on me when I first read it three and a half years ago and it’s still available, although I don’t know for how much longer.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who believes in the power of love; skeptics may have a a difficult time with this concept. 😀