Hidden Letters of Velta B. (Paperback)

By Gina Ochsner

Mariner Books, 9780544703049, 320pp.

Publication Date: July 18, 2017

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FINALIST FOR THE OREGON BOOK AWARDS--KEN KESEY AWARD FOR FICTION

"Intimate, vibrant, and richly colored."--Portland Monthly

" An] extraordinary feat of storytelling . . . A spellbinding novel as tough as it is beautiful." -- Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War

"A beautifully spun tale . . . An astonishing alchemy of history, romance, and fable." --Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Maris was born knowing things: his very large, very special ears enable him to hear the secrets of the dead, as well as the memories that haunt his Latvian hometown. As a boy, Maris finds himself heir to an odd assortment of hidden letters, letters from which he would weave a story that could finally expose--and maybe even patch--the holes in the fabric of his family and their town.

With humor, heart, and her characteristic "luminous writing and] affection for her characters" (New York Times), Gina Ochsner creates an intimate, hopeful portrait of a fascinating town in all its complications and charm. From the onset of World War II through the cold shock of independence, we see how, despite years of distrust, a community can come through love and loss to the joy of understanding.

"A captivating novel of secrets, love, and memory . . . This terrific novel knocked me out." --Janet Fitch, author of Paint It Black

"A gift on par with Joanne Harris's Chocolat . . . Quirky, ethereal, hilarious, and sorrowful." --Shelf Awareness
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