Sam’s Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson is a heartfelt book that connects Jennifer’s grandmother Sam’s love story to her own. Now as a grown woman, Jennifer returns to Lake Geneva where she spent her childhood summers. Her last living family member, her dear Sam, is in a coma. When she arrives at the lake house, she finds a collection of letters her grandmother wrote for her, telling her story. Jennifer knew little of Sam’s past, and became absorbed in her letters instantly. She is shocked when in the first letter she learns that Sam never did love her grandfather, but instead was passionately in love with another man. Over this summer, Jennifer continues to visit Sam in the hospital and reads her letters to learn the truth about her past. Early on, she meets Brendan whom she had spent her summer with when she was younger and who always seemed like a brother to her. It doesn’t take too long for her to notice similarities in Sam’s story and her own. Sam’s Letters to Jennifer is two stories of true love, discovery, and living life to the fullest.
At one point, Jennifer says to Brendan when crying, “I can’t help it. I’m not usually so sentimental.” I could say the same for my reaction to Sam’s Letters to Jennifer. It isn’t often that I cry while reading, but in this book I found myself choked up in two or three occasions. I love the duality between Sam and Jennifer’s stories. Both are very compelling and touching. I think you could really learn a lot from how Brendan was choosing to live his life. His opinion was to make the most of each day, “from the crack of dawn until you close your eyes,” and I think it’s a belief we all should make use of. With a glimpse into Brendan’s life, all of us see how life can be short, and you should cherish every moment. Patterson’s format, with quick chapters, made this book an easier read with plenty of places to take a break (not that I ever wanted to). I would recommend Sam’s Letters to Jennifer to everyone in search of a fascinating read that you’ll finish in no time. 9 out of 10.
P.S. See April's flashback of the month here.