Official Review: Letters from the Love Room

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Jaime Lync
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Official Review: Letters from the Love Room

Post by Jaime Lync » 19 May 2018, 18:43

[Following is an official review of "Letters from the Love Room" by Corinne Martin.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Letters from the Love Room: Mapping the Landscape of Loss by Corinne Martin is a beautiful, tear-jerking, hope-breathing compilation of letters the author penned to her beloved Aunt Min after she passed away in 2010 (102 years of age). Martin had a very intimate relationship with her aunt, whom she took care of during the last years of her life. The author was overcome with grief when her aunt died but she still felt her presence even though she was gone. This led her to the concept that every close relationship is “a kind of love room, made up of truths and dreams and wrenching work that only two persons can share. “She wrote to her aunt from the love room for four years to keep the love room lively.

The book is composed of a prologue, introduction; the letters to Aunt Min in chronological order (each of the four years is a chapter) and an epilogue. The prologue and epilogue are both free verse poems that fittingly begin and end the book respectively. In the introduction we are told about the love room concept mentioned above. The letters to Aunt Min vary in length and content but one thing that is constant, but they are all so thought-provoking.

I truly enjoyed this book. Martin, had it professionally edited, so it was virtually free of any grammatical or formatting errors. However, the genuine love and grief that the author poured out through her writing were kept fully intact after the editing process. Martin shares how losing Aunt Min helped her to connect intimately with the many family members that she was not even aware that she had in Louisiana. She also found herself attracted to nature and the beautiful Southern lands. The letters I enjoyed the most was those where Martin described magnificent landscapes and used such poetic language that I found myself highlighting entire paragraphs to be able to come back and read them again.

This book would greatly help those who have also lost close loved-ones or those who want to have a more compassionate outlook on grief. Since it is mainly letters, one can feel at liberty to read it in any order that they deem fit. Martin had days when all she wanted to do was sit and do nothing and she had days that she felt the light of hope shining on her. The road of grief is not linear and sometimes we find ourselves in the mountain of joy and the back in the river of tears. The author does a great job Mapping the Landscape of Loss and showing us that there is hope once we are in the land of the living.

I cannot find much fault in this book. The book cover was intriguing, and I was pleased that some pictures of Aunt Min and the family were placed in convenient places throughout the book.
I do believe it imperative to address a very predominant theme in this book – religious views. Martin is an interfaith minister and spiritual director. Throughout the book, we see that the author is open to the Buddhist beliefs but not totally in agreement with everything they teach. She also beliefs that “everything is a little bit of God.” Of course, she ponders the afterlife numerous times but there is never reference to the Christian worldview. Many persons would rather not read a book that sponsors difference in opinions when it comes to religion.

Without further ado, I rate Letters from the Love Room 4 out of 4 stars. There are things here that I do not agree with as a Christian but I cannot deny that this is a beautifully composed book.

Letters from the Love Room
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NL Hartje
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Post by NL Hartje » 20 May 2018, 10:35

Jaime Lync wrote:
19 May 2018, 18:43
This led her to the concept that every close relationship is “a kind of love room, made up of truths and dreams and wrenching work that only two persons can share.
What a lovely image! Oftentimes I read thoughtful love responses and just think "how nice." Your author, however, with this statement has truly pulled me into her idea. I feel her "love room" is something to which I can relate.

Kudos on a lovely review!
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
-Dr. Seuss

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Post by gen_g » 20 May 2018, 11:00

Thank you for the insightful review! The author seems sincere and writes beautifully. I am certainly intrigued.

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Post by janeera » 20 May 2018, 17:01

Thank you for the inspirational review. It gave me a good idea of what the book contained and encouraged me to read it myself. This book must be a therapeutic read for those who are going through the pain of loss and an advanced lesson for those who will be experiencing it sooner or later. Life is a series of gains and losses, if we are realistic.

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Post by kandscreeley » 20 May 2018, 18:22

It sounds like this was very cathartic for the author which is nice. I'm glad that you enjoyed it, but it definitely wouldn't be for me. Thanks for the review.
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Post by Corhan2 » 21 May 2018, 05:09

The "love room" sounds like a stunning concept. I think that writing letters to your loved ones whom passed away is a fantastic way to cope with your grief. Thank you for the review but I might give this book a miss because of my beliefs.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 21 May 2018, 08:04

Wow, four years of writing after her aunt's death. It sounds like Martin really struggled to move on. I hope that some of her letters share the joy she had with her aunt and the gratitude for her aunt's 102 years of life. Even today, surpassing 100 is extraordinary and they were blessed to have that many years together.

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Post by Plfern » 21 May 2018, 15:27

Your review told about a woman who wrote letters to help her through the loss of her aunt. It seems that this kind of story might be rather lame for someone who has never gone through this type of loss of a very much loved one. However, it appeals to me how she deals with her grief. I will put this book, Letters From the Love Room by Corinne Martin, on my "want to read" list. Even though you mentioned it talks about different religious beliefs (interfaith, Buddhist, everything is a little bit of God), I can overlook this by applying my own beliefs in its place. It won't keep me from reading the book. Thank you, Jaime Lync, for your thoughtful review.

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Post by crediblereading2 » 22 May 2018, 12:58

When we lose someone we love, it is such a long and painful journey just to recover. This is a book that I can relate to. Excellent review.

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Post by SamSim » 22 May 2018, 14:51

This sounds like such a personal, moving book. I love poignant non-fiction and I would love to read this. Your thorough review was wonderful. I appreciated your line about how the road of grief is not linear. That stuck with me. Thanks for the recommendation!
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Post by sutsuj12 » 22 May 2018, 14:55

If everything is a little of God then you got the might to move on.a good book

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Post by Fuzzy456 » 23 May 2018, 08:42

Thanks for the honest review. Sounds like an inspirational book that we can all relate to. The grieving process after a loved one is very painful. Thanks for the thorough review.

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Post by dtb » 26 May 2018, 13:21

I like your comment about a more compassionate view of grief. Grief is different for everyone and sometimes there are people who add to the discomfort of grief by imposing their expectations on those who have suffered a loss.

Thank you for a great review.

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Post by Githumaina19 » 27 Jun 2018, 15:32

This boom clearly is a gem,the reviewer manages to bring out all the emotions in the book as intended by the writer. In some ways it reminds us of how much we should cherish the living before they pass on

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