Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
“I have been thinking about you today.” The bond of family, friendship, and love doesn’t die when someone passes away, leaving the other bereft. The bond is still there and, sadly, so is the grief. When Lisa’s sister, Kim, her best friend, took her own life, it left a hole in Lisa’s heart. Kim was a free spirit, creative, full of the need to travel and see as much as she could, at least to travel around the United States. But she always came home, saddened, somewhat broken, in need of a strong dose of family. Then she came home to stay and the sister bond strengthened. Kim was the one who wrote the most interesting letters. After she passed away, Lisa took to journaling, writing letters to her sister, telling her about the life that has carried on without her in spite of the grief and sorrow she left behind. Writing became Lisa’s healing balm, while at the same time it helped her connect more deeply with the sister she loved and missed so much.
Lisa Creech Saleh’s book, Letters to Kim, are poignant samples of her journaling journey on a long path toward healing. The letters tell stories, as letters should and often did in the past. The letters provide a means of communicating with a loved one, in this case, Lisa’s deceased sister. The letters sort through Lisa’s feelings, her need to understand why, her need to come to terms with the difficult fact that there really was nothing else she could have done for her sister. The letters are sad and as Lisa pens her thoughts and memories with tears on her cheeks, so too will the reader feel this sadness and cry with her. There are photographs and drawings to accompany the letters and little snippets of texts the sisters exchanged while Kim was still alive. This is more than a healing journey; it’s a look at the lives of two women, sisters, best friends, and the bond that connects beyond death. Very emotional, very beautiful, a fitting tribute to Lisa and to her sister, Kim.