Vincent Nguyen Nguyen từ Audrain County
The story starts with an elderly couple dying in each other's arms, of different causes. The rest of the novel brings together their friends and family for their joint funeral. Of course, their children are all adults and must be brought together from across the globe to not only face the fact that their parents are dead, but all the other personal demons that come with "home": old flames, past indiscretions, memories, old friends and nemeses. Not only that, but the quickly discover a family secret: their father wrote their mother a letter every single week. Since they were married on a Wednesday (who the heck gets married on a Wednesday, by the way?), and that's the day of his first letter, that's the day of the week he writes every letter to her, thus the title. The letters are not, in my opinion, in the book enough. They actually are not the focus of the novel, rather a plot device used to drive forward the plot that actually revolves around their black-sheep son, Malcolm. He quickly emerges as the main character, with all manner of plots following him around: unresolved business, criminal history, lost love, misunderstandings, hurt feelings, ego, the whole kit and caboodle. While much of his moping comes from exaggerated, adolescent Peter Pan syndrome, we find out that he does, eventually have a little something to mope about, and thus the crux of the plot appears. Most of the characters are flat, completely underdeveloped. They are like paper dolls acting out the story, though at least the story is sweet and interesting. There's one twist near the end that neither makes sense, is necessary nor completely resolved, but aside from that, it's a touching, sweet plot. I would *almost* qualify this as a "Christian" novel, but the Christian elements are so seamlessly blended into the story, that the feel completely natural, and I feel no need to label this as "Christian fiction." The couple who died were devout, and the funeral is held in a church. References to prayer, forgiveness, grace and the Atonement are all made, but it's never preachy. Overall: good, not great. Worth reading once, and it does give some very good food for thought on a lot of different topics: what are we required to forgive in others? in ourselves? what are the important things in our lives? how are we protecting those things? working towards those things? what do other people see when they look at us- is it who we are, or who we are pretending to be? All excellent topics, and all worth talking about. Parental advisories: Sex 2/5: A woman talks about a sexual attack in her past. She is discreet, but the assault is real, and probably not reasonable for very young readers. Language 0/5: I don't remember any; one almost-curse is interrupted by a pastor, and the offender apologizes, even though the word wasn't spoken. Violence 1/5: The sexual assault mentioned earlier, though it is not described in any detail whatsoever, and a man beats up another man to prevent a woman from being assaulted. Substance Abuses 2/5: One character is a recovering alcoholic, and his experiences are talked about in several places, one character is an ex-drug user, and describes an experience in which he was high, and talks briefly about shooting up.
as good if not better than the first!