2 out of 4 stars
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“If something ever happened to you, I’d follow you wherever you’d go. I promise! Because neither of us would be fit to spend eternity without the other.”
It is September 11th, 2001, and Jon watches in horror as the twin towers implode. He is in utter shock when he has a vision of his wife, Julia, falling to her death. She had been having lunch with friends in one of the buildings when the plane collided. How could he go on without the love of his life? Grief-stricken, he leaves all of his responsibilities and boards his yacht where he plans to sail far away.
Julia is alive, but she is unable to reach Jon as he has become delusional. The tragedy has severely affected his mental health. Julia must find him before he makes an impulsive decision with irreversible consequences.
Email to Signor by Ronald Spinello is a detailed love story that revolves around Jon and Julia. The book is comprised of two parts and is told from the first-person perspective. Jon narrates the first section, and the second follows things from Julia’s perspective. The reader experiences the unraveling of Jon as he grapples with grief, which results in an altered state of reality. By telling the story from each of the character’s perspectives, I was able to put myself in their shoes and fully comprehend what they were going through.
My favorite part of the book was the author’s ability to show me rather than tell me how Jon’s mental health was deteriorating. Throughout Email to Signor, Jon reminisced about his childhood, which provided me with insight as to why his grief manifested into delusions. When recounting the abuse he endured as a child, Julia’s character would notice he would be in a trance. This trance-like disposition became more commonplace as he plummeted into a deep depression after 9/11.
Another thing that I enjoyed about the book was Julia’s spirituality. She was raised a strict Catholic, so God was a permanent fixture in her life—and the book! Having lost both her parents at a young age, she developed a quirky way of speaking to Him, and I was engrossed in the description of her approach. With that being said, I don’t think the religious aspect of the book would deter people of other religious beliefs from reading it.
While the characters and plot were intriguing, there were a few things I didn’t enjoy about the book. First, the whole book was riddled with grammatical errors. The biggest offender was missing commas and, in particular, the overuse of ellipses. I felt like I was reading a text message from my mother. I will be happy if I never see those three little dots again! Second, the author would be describing a person or an event, and then all of a sudden, he would go off on a tangent that would last several pages. This rambling confused me, and I was bored with all the unnecessary detail. I glazed over quite a few parts that weren’t imperative to the story.
I chose to give the book a rating of 2 out of 4 stars. I wanted to love it, but it desperately needs another round of editing to secure a higher score.
I would recommend the book to readers who don’t mind a slow-moving book with a lot of detail. Email to Signor is character-driven and focuses on mental health and spirituality. This book would be perfect for readers who enjoy love stories that focus on flawed characters. On the other hand, I would not recommend this book to readers who are looking for a fast-paced storyline. The plot has a slow build-up, and the author goes on lengthy tangents. While the language is clean, the book covers some weighty topics, and I would dissuade younger readers from choosing it.
Email to Signor
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