and make believe it came from you. . . .
Hannah Brencher is the author of a new memoir called If You Find This Letter. She started writing letters because of someone she saw on a subway train in New York City, someone who needed to hear something special, something affirming, something that reaches into the heart and deposits worth into the soul. At first, it was just okay for her to write the letters and leave them around town--on the train, in coffee shops, on bulletin boards, in community centers--any place where people might need to read something that builds. Then she posted on her blog what she was doing, and people wrote to her asking for letters for themselves and for others. The whole circumstance of the letters has brought about a campaign of writing letters to people all over the country who need to hear good words. She has set up a website to allow people to volunteer to write letters and to allow others to nominate worthy recipients for letter bundles.
Hannah is honest with her writing--as only a memoir should be written. She understands the need for these letters and the desire to make a difference in this world, and she does it one letter at a time. One of the things that really struck me about Hannah's writing is her desire to give of the best of herself in each letter. She also wants to be part of something bigger than herself. She had great encouragement from her friends to keep the letters going.
She details all the events that were formative in her life--from her year as a volunteer with the UN and in a community center, to the death of one of her closest friends. Her writing is personal and personable, yet pulls no punches. Readers will laugh with her, cry with her, ache with her, and be inspired by her. I would encourage anyone to read this book and then sign up to be a letter writer. There are so many people who have never received a hand-written letter in their lives. This is one thing my mother did when she was still alive and she did it well. People knew how she felt about them and were often touched by her thoughtfulness. I do write letters, but not enough of them and I don't always say what needs to be said, but I try, and that is all that is needed.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a letter to lift your day.
My thanks to Howard Publishing for allowing me to read and review this book.