4 out of 4 stars
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In Letters by Paul Tick, a couple supposedly commits suicide. Alan and Elizabeth shared a relationship that many envied. Each of them seemed to have found the one person that they could not live without. They had raised children, become a part of the community where they had lived and had many friends. Why then did they kill themselves? Paul Tick tells an unsure story in an interesting way. He explores the relationships shared by Alan and Elizabeth with their family members and friends and each link reveals many relatable truths.
One of the aspects that I appreciated about the book was the way the sub-plots are organized. Each chapter focuses on one specific character and explores the person’s relationship with the main characters. The suicide letters incorporated in each section provide an in-depth look into each relationship since they are written in the first person. This way of writing ensured clarity as they are many characters in the book. It also provided a more detailed description of each relationship as both the hard and lovely moments are included.
I also liked that the characters had flaws not only strengths. Alan and Elizabeth’s marriage is not perfect. At some point, they have to deal with some trying marital issues. They also have strained relationships with their children at different points in time. This makes the story authentic. Other supportive characters are developed in the same way, each having gone through their own share of hard times and good times.
Another great aspect of the book was its development. The pace is consistent and the story unfolds gradually. The plot does not feel rushed as each scene and character is given their space in the storyline. There are also many surprises along the way which kept me alert all through.
The themes that are explored in Letters consist of family relationships and their reaction to adversity. I found the storyline to be interesting and the themes were relatable. The story sheds light on why different people in family set-ups act the way they do. This provides important learning points within the plot. However, I would have liked to read more about the settings of the scenes in the book.
I rate Letters by Paul Tick 4 out of 4 stars. It is eye-opening and expertly written. I only identified a few grammatical errors. For readers who prefer books that explore family dynamics, this book is written for them. Readers who prefer fast-paced plots with fewer characters may not enjoy the book.
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