3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
A lump rose within everyone present and broke like a wave breaks upon a shoreline. For an hour, the wetness of weary tears swept over them as they talked and prayed. All, in some way, felt that their lives had been redeemed. It was time to go … The next few weeks were heavy with the sound of pages turning. Chapters yet to be written were invested with a new plot. That was a new beginning. But, like all new beginnings, there was an original beginning, and a beginning beyond that.
Amid the lockdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Bill Trimble, through the help of his adopted daughter (Katie), reconnects with his four friends—Jack, his half brother (Steve), Liam, and Beth—via emails and Zoom meetings. Considering a past event, some of the main characters try to sort out their lives and resolve the guilt and deep need for redemption. In the course of catching up and being productive, they decide to write intriguing stories (borrowing heavily from their past), and these lead to the discovery of secrets, connected events, forgiveness, and absolution.
Letters from a Shuttered Country is a revealing book centered on redemption. Chris Steed steadily develops the story, with small and crucial pieces of information leading to an unexpected reveal at the end of the book. The writing is so creatively done that the characters exhibit emotions, values, and an understanding of the concept of humanity. With its peculiar style and tone, the work takes one through a profound journey of second chances. It also discusses philosophical and psychological matters that draw the reader in, and love is portrayed in many forms, such as beautifully written and heartfelt poetry. This book is a symbol of hope, family, friendship, solidarity, forgiveness, and redemption.
I must say that this book is well-written; it holds a lot of emotions and depth. I loved reading this book in this period because it signifies hope and love. It is just so realistic and relatable. (It is hard to believe it is a fiction work.) Although the beginning is a bit slow and confusing, the end is absolutely wonderful and unexpected. I especially love the relationship between Katie and her father. Furthermore, the work was professionally edited.
However, the book generally lacks suspense, and some parts may be considered a bit boring. In addition, I do not appreciate the way the author wrote the flashback scenes, being a bit muddled and confusing. In some cases, one has to reread to understand it.
I award this book a rating of 3 out of 4 stars. It employs real-life and relatable events, making it stand out from most other books related to the pandemic. This book also consists of an appendix of poems written by Bill to Beth and Katie on momentous occasions. This series of poems are very touching and beautifully written. Kudos to the writer. Violence and vulgar words are absent from this book, so I recommend it for all audiences. I would also recommend it for people who love inspirational fiction works.
Letters from a Shuttered Country
View: on Bookshelves