The Letter

Title:  The Letter
Author: Willa Okati
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Buy Link:
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.  😀



I live in Canada and I love big dogs, music, movies, reading and sports – especially baseball


  • Hi Lily
    Thank you.
    Isn’t it amazing that you, Val and I read this book and really liked it.
    I wish that more of Willa’s newer books are like this one or her latest, And Call Me In The Morning.

  • Wonderful review, Wave 🙂
    I really liked this story as well. It’s one of the first by Willa that I read and although some of her later books disappointed me this one is a favorite from her.

  • Great review, Wave. I enjoyed it too, though I went back and forth a little because it drove me nuts that there wasn’t more of an explanation about the letters (from what I remember): where did they come from? Where did they go? But then the story was so beautifully written that it really drew me in. The central idea of this story is absolutely haunting and you summed it up perfectly with, “the protagonists who almost threw away the best thing in their lives because they didn’t communicate with each other.”

    • Val
      Obviously I can’t give away too much because I would like the readers to draw their own conclusions, but there was a clue about the letters that I can’t reveal and that’s part of the mystery. As I said in the review

      >>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< < * This book haunted me since the first time I read it which is one of the reasons it became a comfort read.

  • There is an ocean of older short stories.
    But what are the pearls?
    Thank you for recommending this one.I´ll definately read it.4,25 is more than enough for me.
    If you know more “oldies” worth reading,please don`t hide them.

    • Simsala
      >>There is an ocean of older short stories.
      But what are the pearls?< < * I'll be reviewing some of the "pearls". 😀 * On Sunday I mentioned in the weekly update that as a regular feature, every week I will be reviewing older books that some of the newer converts to M/M might not know about. I hope to introduce these readers to a few of the better books written over the last 3 - 5 years that they might have missed - books that tell a story. * I have a long list and I will be working my way through them every week, so stay tuned. Unfortunately some of the books are no longer available to buy, which is a pity.

  • Interesting. I was wondering how a 4.25 could be an old favorite, but I understand what you mean by you’re not sure why you love it so much. Some books or movies are like that, sometimes they’ll have obvious flaws, irritants, or don’t seem to be anything remarkable, but they work perfectly for *you*. 🙂 I like the premise of this story a lot, but as I’ve said before, I’m a bit wary of Willa Okati… so I’ll buy that GFY book of hers you reviewed last week (or was it the one before?) because that story appeals to me even more, and if it works for me I’ll give this one a try :D.
    Thanks for the review :).

    • Mary
      4.25 for me is pretty high now – I have revamped by ratings. 🙂 This book is one that I have read several times and I liked every time. It won’t win awards but it’s a comfort read.
      My idea of old favourites would be those books that I can’t forget, not necessarily the highest rated because of the brilliant writing. Just a good old fashioned story that resonates.
      I hope you get And Call Me In The Morning as well as this one despite your aversion to this author. 🙂

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