Book Review: The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

A mug of green tea sits in front of a pink paperback copy of The Last Letter From Your Lover. A dilute calico cat sits behind it.

Alexis:

Sort of ironic, isn’t it, since Anna just mentioned Me Before You, Moyes’ trauma porn story? 😬

I needed another beach read, so I grabbed this one from a used bookstore. And though it’s not my usual kind of read, I saw a trailer for a Netflix adaptation, and thought I would pick it up. 

After Jennifer gets into a car accident in 1960, she has amnesia. She doesn’t remember her husband; she doesn’t remember who she is. And when she stumbles upon a letter from a lover, she realizes that her marriage was unhappy, and that she was in love with someone else. The problem is: she can’t remember who he is or where to find him.

Despite not being gothic, this book almost immediately gave me Rebecca vibes. There’s no ex-wife, but Jennifer feels and sees her lover, “B,” everywhere she looks, and it gives a similar sort of mysterious vibe. Plus, Jennifer is the wife of a rich man with a huge estate.

It took me a little while to get into this one. Part of the beginning seems a little unnecessary; Jennifer spends a lot of time getting to re-know her high society friends, only for them to become unimportant characters later on. 

What I did like was Moyes’ engaging, flowing writing style. I liked how the story is non-linear. However, the story switches to the POV of Ellie, a journalist in 2003, and while I enjoyed her perspective, it didn’t come until page 231. I would’ve liked her POV to be more woven into Jennifer’s POV. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable read. I think if you’re looking for a historical fiction story that focuses on love, memory, and sacrifice with light Rebecca vibes, then you’ll enjoy this. 

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐/5

Review: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

Alexis:

I’m glad I read The Last Wish, but since it was originally published in 1993, it definitely has that old high fantasy feel to it.

This is the original series that delves into the world of the Witcher called Geralt of Rivia—before the popular video games, and before the TV show adaptation.

I’m not sure if it was just the translation or not, but this book is very heavy on the “tell” without a lot of “show.” Whenever there was imagery, I really enjoyed it, but this book is honestly 90% dialogue. I normally love dialogue, but it was a little too much, to the point that sometimes actions would only happen in dialogue. 

I also found it interesting that Geralt is much more vocal in the book than in the show. 

However, I was pleasantly surprised that the book is non-linear, just like the show. Suddenly, the show’s structure, which seemed all over the place at first, makes more sense. 

This first book only delves into Geralt’s storyline, with one main scene with the sorceress Yennefer, and several of the adventures with the troubadour Dandelion, who is named Jaskier in the show. The main difference in the worlds is, like I said earlier, that the book feels very “old” high fantasy. What I mean by that it’s a medieval world, with elves, and dwarves and monsters, and pubs with beer, but also sexism.

The first section of the book opens with a sex scene. Several of the characters (though most are monsters, but still) talk very casually about being rapists, and unnecessary comments about women were made several times throughout the book.

I think the show feels more contemporary (and it should, since it was created decades after the book was written). Many of the characters in the book hold unsavory views of women, especially Dandelion, who comes off as a rowdy, rather than the foolish but lovable Jaskier. While the TV show still has sexist characters, both Geralt and Jaskier are respectable characters.

Overall, I’m glad I was able to see where this popular fandom originated. But I’m probably going to stick to only watching the show, which is rare for me when it comes to books!

VERDICT: ⭐⭐⭐/5