THE LETTER DIARIES invite readers on a therapeutic journey in a refresh of their own lives, as the author restarts hers through the re-opening of time-gone-by letters. If only she knew then what she knows now, perhaps life might have taken her on a better path. Or, was this life meant all along?
Think Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Eat, Pray, Love with a sprinkle of Jane Austen! Our story is based on 30 years of real-life letters and centers on the more downs than ups of real-life serial singleton Daniella Cracknell. She is stuck in a series of mishaps, so seeks resolve out of letters returned to her after the death of her beloved grandma, an inheritance of sorts.
The letters between the two had been the glue that had held life together, much like a diary but with the guidance and wisdom of a grandmother on the other end. Daniella’s grandmother lived in a most beautiful English village whereas Daniella lived in America.
When letters are returned, a promise buried in one of the letters is unearthed, but only at death can the promise be fulfilled. Grandma had delivered on her end. She had returned the letters and now leaves her granddaughter to fulfill the rest. However, the letters are from all over the place, so making sense of such an epistolary inheritance will take time.
Nonetheless, the letters are at Daniella’s doorstep ready to reopen and relive her life with a new perspective. Perhaps her former self will reveal patterns of discourse and provide rationale on why things she had set up to go so right had gone so wrong. If only she knew then what she knows now!
Out of a box of letters, Daniella finds herself on a therapeutic path that takes readers on a bumpy road through quaint English villages where letters were mailed and received. And, to the big cities of London, New York, and Los Angeles.
She juggles romantic disappointment and family dysfunction that parallel her professional shakeups, setbacks, and start-overs. Her grandmother, painstakingly, bears witness.
Naturally, Daniella falls into the same television industry as her father, who earned early fame as a leading British actor on the BBC but lost it all to a debilitating mental illness. So, Daniella questions if this will be her fate, too.
She has good girl qualities and supposedly did all things right. Yet, all things in love and life, and on the job as a publicity executive go awry, as if she were destined for nothing but colossal mishap.
“There is something pleasantly, innocently voyeuristic about reading an epistolary novel," says Book Riot. Adding, "They give you the feeling of stumbling on a box of letters left in an attic, but there are no consequences or hurt feelings if you read them. Actually, the author prefers that you read them.”
“Cracknell emerges as a resilient, sprightly, and engaging character ... a dream read!”
—MARY, Test Reader, English Professor, Avid Book Clubber, NY—
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Reopen a Letter ...
THE LETTER DIARIES is inspired by an earlier book of letters. The letters were written in the 18th century, an era made famous in many a novel by Jane Austen as the golden age of letter writing. Back then, letters were among the few allowable forms of written expression open to women, a topic that led Daniella and her grandmother to make a deadly promise, a pact cemented in a letter.
In Austen's Pride & Prejudice, a new day was not complete without the arrival of a letter or the anticipation of a reply. THE LETTER DIARIES similarly bridge time and distance but through modern-day misfortune -- and with a new generation of women in a daughter distanced from her father, a mother dismantled by two divorces, and a grandmother too young to be widowed.
The women travel together here, there, and everywhere through the written word. Despite all that could go wrong, does go wrong, the women find hope in troubled times, insight amid chaos and feel-good energy that fuels the bounce-back power of resiliency. The first of their letters are sent and received from an 18th-century English country estate, which sets the stage for a return to the golden age of letter writing.
The estate comes with a haunted tale that keeps Daniella emeshed in an 18th-century British idea of how life should go. Though, she comes of age in 20th-century America with her version of Austen’s Mr. Darcy. Chapters flow through the support of 200 real-life letters penned over a lifetime, 30 years to be exact, of which 75 of the letters are featured amongst lessons learned from one chapter to the next.
Please be advised THE LETTER DIARIES contain sensitive subject matter as the daughter explores adverse childhood experiences that derail her from the get-go, the mother faces an ill that challenges feminity, and the grandmother travels down the tunnel of light in a near-death experience thirteen years prior to her actual death. As a result, our story is for those who desire better out of the feminine experience.