Letters Between Us by Linda Rader Overman
Fiction, paperback, 165 pgs. 2008
Plain View Press
This is a story told through letters between two women. From 1963 to 1989 they are friends, keeping diaries and writing letters, sharing everything through three decades of growth and change. The book begins with the loss of one of them, Katherine, tragically. Her friend Laura comes into possession of all their correspondence in a box that Katherine had kept, along with her diaries. Katherine had problems her friends and family could not seem to share or understand and the details of her death are baffling to everyone.
Laura, depite problems in her own marriage and a mother suffering from dementia who calls her constantly in a state of confusion, is determined to take a few days away. She's compelled to sort and read all the letters between them to find out what she may have overlooked. Did she miss Katherine's pain and turmoil or was it there between the lines? Might Laura have foreseen some things and helped her friend more? Or was she too busy living the high life to pay attention to what her friend was saying. It's natural to wonder. So through Laura we read the letters together, in the order that they were written, starting in grade school through high school and the college years. They wrote to each other even when together in school or the same town. Then on to new adventures in living, loving, and loss.
Katherine was the straighter arrow of the two. It was Lauren who took risks with drugs, sex, drinking and partying. She thought she might be the one to run into trouble but never Katharine, who wouldn't even try drugs. And while she knew K. had lived with abusive and alcoholic parents, she never saw the depth of her friends sadness. She discovers through the letters that things were happening to Katherine that she never fully realized. If Katharine ended up depressed and under treatment toward the end it seems she had reason. Passionate or tender, poignant or sometimes dark, the story of their lives unfolds for us, letter by letter. The novel is rich with details and Overman's writing sets the mood perfectly. Highly recommended.
Linda Rader Overman's web page: Letters Between Us.
I will be giving my gently read copy of Letters Between Us to one of my readers.
To enter do as many of the following as you like. Three chances to win.
1) Tell us the best book of epistolary fiction, a story told entirely or for the most part through personal letters, that you've ever read, for one entry.
2) Sign up to subscribe or follow my blog, Fresh Ink Books, and I'll give you an entry.
3) Blog about this giveaway and put a link back to it and I'll give you an entry. If you don't have an blog, email 3 friends telling them about this giveaway and copying me at sfuhringer (at) sympatico (dot) ca.
Entry is open to everyone until midnight Sunday, January 25, 2009.
Be sure to leave an email address if you don't have a blog where I can contact you.
Winner will be announced on Monday, January 26 , 2009.