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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Every so often, there are books that grab you at the beginning and hold you spellbound to the finish. The Legacy Letters by Carew Papritz is such a novel. A man and a woman have a misunderstanding and the man goes his separate way, uninformed about the pregnancy of the woman, his wife. He finds out he has a fatal illness and elects to isolate himself in order to find some meaning to his life. He finds out about his wife's pregnancy and chooses to remain in isolation, trying to delineate what he wishes to pass down to his children. The wife and twin children have no idea what has happened to the man and they go about their lives until the twins' tenth birthday, when a letter arrives informing the wife that her husband is dead and there are letters left for the children to read.
The Legacy Letters is a story of frustration, keenness of mind, and regrets common to everyday people. The soul-searching by the dying man is endearing and the reader learns gradually about a complex and learned man who chooses to face death alone rather than in the comfort of his family. Author Papritz skillfully crafts the letters so that they become the life of the man as a legacy to his twin children. He confesses he would rather live than die. He talks to his children about character and commitment, and how a marriage works and how a marriage dies. The language is folksy and believable and readers will relate to the feelings of the dying man. Love and appreciation of nature, as well as respect for humankind, leap from the pages so that each reader will ponder his or her own belief systems while wondering how anyone would choose to be alone at the moment of death. A powerful and poignant read for all.