The Love Note: A Book Review

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Age Appropriate For: 16 and up (romance and some mentions of pregnancy out of wed-lock)

Best for Ages: 16 and up

Description:  Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings--mostly negative ones--about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words.

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.

Politano has become a favorite author. Her books are so beautifully written, that you almost feel they are worthy of being memorized. They also have so much depth to them that they make you feel you’ve been on a spiritual journey yourself. The Love Note is no exception.

I love how there is always a bit of a mystery to be solved in each of Politano’s books, in this one, the whole story revolves around who wrote a love note. As you go on a journey with Willa, you get to piece together a long-ago love story, as well as see how the love note affects others as it changes hands. I adored getting to see how the words impacted each person.

I also just soaked up how as the story unfolded, you also got to see Willa learn more about different aspects of love, both in the romantic sense as well as platonic love for others, and God’s love.

As always, I really appreciate the historical details and perspective that Politano brings. Willa wants to be a doctor and help others in a time when the doors to medical school were closed to women. I loved that the author shows how hard that would have been, without giving us a screaming feminist who yells about the injustice to women the whole book. Instead, she gave us something even more powerful: a brilliant, deeply caring woman whom it saddens you to see blocked from a profession she would have excelled at.

One of the other things I love is the realism. There are some characters in the story that don’t learn their lesson by the end of the book. Not everything works out how I would have planned it. Yet, there are some amazingly beautiful moments of grace, forgiveness, and love that brought me near tears. I just wanted the story to keep going.

I wasn’t sure at first how to feel about the ending. At first, I was a little frustrated by it, but then I realized it really fit the characters very well. I ended up feeling very stratified and loving it, even if I would have thought of writing it differently.

I highly recommend this book to those who love historical fiction, beautifully written books, and family mysteries. 

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