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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Love Letters: The Romance of Arthur and Lilly by Carol A Roe contains a heart-warming collection of letters exchanged between a couple from 1916 to 1917. Arthur lived in Brooklyn and supervised the Third Avenue Railway System. His fiancée, Lilly, came from a large Irish Catholic family. Arthur wrote letters daily to Lilly who saved them and some of these appear in the collection. In the letters, Arthur expresses his deep devotion and love for her. His happiness at having her in his life is evident as he constantly affirms his commitment to Lilly. He writes some of the letters from Denville, New Jersey while staying with his sister in a Catholic sanitarium and religious retreat. In the letters, he also expresses his concern over World War I and the Americans’ indifference to the war before their later involvement.
When reading Love Letters, I loved that the letters are left to tell the couple’s story without explanations inserted in between. Arthur’s writing is elegant and passionate. His language, authentic expressions, and steadfastness throughout the courtship are distinct and heartening. He also makes some humorous remarks that further brighten his letters. His personality also shone through which made me feel like I knew him as a person after reading the collection. His joy throughout all the letters is uplifting and it is apparent that his relationship with Lilly gave him hope during a dark and uncertain time. There are also photographs included which helped me better connect with those mentioned in the book. The collection is, however, brief and I would have loved to learn more about the couple introduced in the letters. Historical romance fans will find Love Letters a delightful and hope-filled collection.