Reviewed on 13th August 2017

Letters to Lincoln by Tracie Podger

Genre: Contemporary / Fiction / Romance / Women's Fiction
Letters to Lincoln by Tracie Podger Synopsis

What do you do when your husband dies unexpectedly?
You write him a letter, of course.
What do you do when someone answers that letter?
Dani was mid-thirties when she found herself alone and without her soulmate.
Coming to terms with her loss took all her strength and her voice.
If Dani thought she’d experienced the worst life could throw at her, she was wrong.
Lies, deceit, confusion surround her.
A stranger, a builder, and a priest comfort her.
Letters to Lincoln is a contemporary romance about overcoming loss, finding the strength to rebuild a life, and learning to forgive.

Letters to Lincoln by Tracie Podger Review

An Emotional Story that will have you Reaching for the Tissues

How do you piece your life back together after grief? How do you make yourself whole again when the person that once hugged all your broken pieces back together is no longer there to do so? And once you finally feel like the floor is not crumbling before you and you can walk on steady ground, how do you react when the rug is once more pulled from beneath your feet?

Letters to Lincoln follows Dani’s story as she is released from hospital following a tragic and fatal car crash that stole the lives of two of the most important people in her life. Her husband and her unborn daughter. Grief and pain steal her voice, her strength and her desire to live life. But leaving London behind and staying with her father on the Cornish coast opens up a whole new path through the pain towards a light she never knew she needed to find.

But the path will be just as rocky as the coastline she now wanders along. More deceit and pain is heading her way and before Dani can truly live again she will be pulled to the edges of hell and back first.

By the start of chapter four, I was already wiping the tears from under my eyes. The pain Dani feels is palpable and the love from her father warms the cold wet, tear-stained pages of the book.

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But the pain! The heart stabbing, gut-wrenching pain is so real that all you want to do is wrap the book in a blanket and hold it safe by a warm comforting fire. Tracie Podger’s words don’t just tease emotions out of you, they downright demand them.

I sat reading this book watching the cold, unpredictable and choppy seas batter against the shoreline in front of my house, which seemed the most fitting of destinations to lose myself in this book. I imagined the class picture frame windows of Dani’s new home and each time her father made her a calming and therapeutic mug of tea, I sipped the glorious liquid alongside her.
I could feel the sea biting my cheeks, despite the glass windows that separated us, because the words on the page transported me there.

I am one of those annoying people who generally guess the twists and turns in a book well before even the author intends you to ‘get it’. It’s a frustrating trait that my husband hates when we read a thriller or watch a movie. So, the first ‘betrayal’ or twist in this book was not entirely unexpected. But I believe that was the intention of the author. Mostly because you find yourself screaming at Dani through the pages.

You know her heartbreak is coming and the frustration that she can’t see it yet propels you through the pages. The breadcrumbs were there, hidden under the sand Dani walked upon along the beaches and coastlines and buried in the earth of her husband’s grave. But even as you read the words you hear your own voice screaming out a tirade of angry denial. To be so connected to the grief of the main character so early on is an incredible talent. To feel her pain in such a visceral way as the words tumble from the page is a skill that Tracy has mastered effortlessly.

It is not often I force myself to put a book down and ‘finish it tomorrow’. But as I reached the 80% mark, I forced myself to put it away. Not because I wanted to stop reading, but because I honestly didn’t want it to be a book I read ‘in a day’. The words on the page deserved more than that. They deserved to be savoured and as much as I was desperate to finish it, I wanted to be a voyeur in Dani’s story for just a little longer. Waking up early the next day, I felt like a kid at Christmas as I opened the pages to read her final few chapters. Dani feels like a friend I was privileged to meet and even now I don’t feel ready to let go. That is the sign or a truly remarkable book.

Letters to Lincoln is more than just a tale of grief, love and growing stronger through the pain. It’s a reflection on just how much strength we can gather from friends, family and loved ones in our darkest and most testing times.

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