The Last Letter from Your Lover (Paperback)
Penguin Books, 9780143121107, 432pp.
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
A Brief Encounter for our time, The Last Letter from Your Lover is a sophisticated, spellbinding double love story that spans decades and thrillingly evokes a bygone era. In 1960, Jennifer Stirling wakes in the hospital and remembers nothing—not the car accident that put her there, not her wealthy husband, not even her own name. Searching for clues, she finds an impassioned letter, signed simply "B," from a man for whom she seemed willing to risk everything. In 2003, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles upon the letter and becomes obsessed with learning the unknown lovers’ fate—hoping it will inspire her own happy ending. Remarkably moving, this is a novel for romantics of every age.
About the Author
Praise For The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel…
“Crafting a love story that feels not just compelling but true is a very difficult thing indeed—and yet, with The Last Letter from Your Lover, Jojo Moyes has done it twice. I found myself utterly transfixed by both sets of lovers in this marvelous novel. Moyes is a tremendously gifted storyteller, and I'm all admiration.”
—Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife
“A fabulous, emotional, and evocative book—perfect for anyone who loves Mad Men.”
—Sophie Kinsella, bestselling author of Confessions of a Shopaholic
“This story of passion and missed chances—with a twist that provides fresh perspective 40 years later—is entrancing.”
—Parade (Top Pick)
“A prize-winning, cross-generational love story of missed connections and delayed gratification [that] hits a seam of pure romantic gold. . . . A cliffhanger-strewn tale of heartache in two strikingly different eras [and] a tour de force.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Elegiac . . . emotionally ablaze . . . Moyes’s genuinely captivating tale resonates deeply in today’s fast-paced, less gracious world.”
“What’s astonishing about this ingeniously crafted dual love story . . . is how swiftly and effortlessly Jojo Moyes pulls you in. . . . Like an afternoon spent watching a beloved old movie, made wonderfully new.”
—Barnes & Noble Review
“Toggling between two eras, Moyes cleverly juxtaposes the conventions of old-fashioned and thoroughly modern romance.”
“A modern yet ageless story of the human heart and its tenacity to hold on to a love that will not die or be replaced. Beautifully written . . . Jojo Moyes’s novel gives the satisfaction of a fine wine and meal before the fireplace on a winter’s night.”
—Leila Meacham, New York Times bestselling author of Roses
“Exciting, moving, intriguing; the atmosphere’s perfect, the plotting is masterly, the characters are brilliant.”
—Penny Vincenzi, author of The Best of Times
“An engrossing double love story . . . a captivating tale of missed connections. The Last Letter from Your Lover is itself a love letter to the all-but-disappearing handwritten message.”
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
- What similarities are there between Ellie and Jennifer? How do their experiences reflect their respective eras? Of the two women, with whom do you empathize or identify the most?
- Have you ever written or received a love letter? Have you ever sent a romantic e-mail or text? Do you think electronic communication has changed the nature of expression? How does the emotional weight of a love letter compare with that of spoken words?
- Does Laurence love Jennifer? Imagine yourself in his position. What were his motives in lying to Jennifer about O'Hare's death?
- How did your opinion of O'Hare develop over the course of the novel? Is he a traditional romantic hero?
- If Jennifer and O'Hare had run away together, what would their lives have been like?
- Jennifer's friends and her mother are reluctant to tell her much about her life before the accident, urging her to focus on the future. Why? Do you believe they knew about her affair?
- Why does Yvonne react the way she does to Jennifer's decision to leave Laurence?
- Think of Jennifer's many roles as mother, daughter, wife, lover, and friend. Is it possible to fill all those roles at once? Should any one role be a priority and, if so, which one? With this in mind, did Jennifer make the right choice in pursuing O'Hare?
- Examine the female friendships in the novel, particularly the interactions between Ellie and her girlfriends. Had you been friends with Ellie, what advice would you have given her about John? What would you say to John?
- Rory argues that being in love doesn't excuse someone from being responsible for their actions, that "everyone makes a choice" to do either the right or the wrong thing (p. 332). Ellie disagrees, believing that people can be swept away by emotion. What do you think?
- Did you find the ending satisfactory? What happens next for Jennifer and Ellie?