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Post Marked: Piper's Reach by Adam Byatt and Jodi Cleghorn is a beautiful, compelling and deeply emotional story told through snail mail correspondence.
Teenage friends who share an unacknowledged love for each other, meet through letters as adults and begin a journey of healing their past. If there is such a thing, it feels like an adult coming-of-age story.
The book is a slow unravelling of Ella-Louise and Jude's lives and feelings. Much of the character growth occurs off-page, so the letters are fast-paced, sometimes full of angst, but always steeped in raw honesty.
Cultural references to the 1990s abound, especially music references, so if you were around during that time, or love that music, you're in for a treat.
This story taps into the fraught emotions of the teenage years and explores them retrospectively, as an adult full of life experiences and passing years.
I received an eARC for review and have since bought the book to keep.
I loved every word of this beautiful, heart wrenching coming of age story; an elegant set up with two friends, now separated, sharing and exchanging their life movements through the years via good old fashioned letters.. It moved me to tears so many times I lost count and I felt my own life's journey to adulthood reflected in Ella-Louise and Jude's precarious tumble through the world. And then inevitably, come the left turns, the faltering steps, the bad decisions, the pain, regret, lost love ... all of it subtly postmarked within the lines and scribbles, the nuances and camouflage of each correspondence. Ultimately, Postmark Piper's Reach is a song to the soul, and a hymn to imperfect perfection of humanity. I urge you to read, to cry and sing along in celebration!