RATING: READ IT
9 Letters is the story of Luke Cawley, a young man who lost his wife, Emily, and one year after her death, receives a package of 9 letters that she wrote prior to her death to help him find his way back from her loss.
I loved the premise of this novel and although it’s not a new one, I thought it was handled beautifully and in a fresh way. I loved watching Luke on his journey and learning about how Luke and Emily fell in love. It is unique to see such a deep love for a couple that was so young and had so few years together. The book spends a lot of time learning about Emily, but in doing so, I felt like we learned more about Luke and his capacity to love.
What has stuck with me the most though, is the writing. There’s an interesting cadence to Mr. Austin’s writing. It’s slow and has a certain deliberate sense of patience to it.
There are a few male authors that I read (Scott Hildreth, J.D. Hawkins, et al.) and I love their books, but this is different. The entire story is told from Luke’s perspective and the writing is very ‘male.’ Not in an over-the-top Alpha way, but something much more authentically male. Perhaps the non-Alpha-ness is why it hit me so differently. Luke might be an Alpha, but if he is, I don’t think he truly sees himself that way and that comes across in the writing.
There’s also something so real about his struggle to move forward. It’s heart wrenching to watch and yet you find joy as you slowly see him emerging.
The one thing that fell flat for me was the ending, but perhaps it’s part and parcel with the pace of the book. I think it would have benefited from an epilogue, but that might just be my own want to know more.
On a side note, there is a lot of talk of God and the church. Not really my thing, but I am ok with it. Some readers have more of an aversion to it, so I wanted to mention it here.
This is the first novel by Mr. Austin and I will definitely be reading his future works.
As of 3.7.16, 9 Letters is available on Kindle Unlimited.