About the Book
Book: The Love Note
Author: Joanna Davidson Politano
Release Date: October 20, 2020
Genre: Victorian-era Romance
Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1859 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.
The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano beautifully overwhelmed me. Twenty-four hours after finishing this novel I still have no idea how to adequately put into words how stupendous and marvelous this story is. The storyline is superb. I devoured this book in two days. I truly did not want to put this book down ever. In fact, I want to re-read it just to stay in that glorious book fog that comes when a reader has experienced a truly great piece of fiction. The characters are endearing and unique and very relatable. The heartache each character hides — some deeply, some not so much — ripped my heart into pieces. I actually ached for them because I know what it feels like to feel the way they do. The letter, the central object of The Love Note, is exquisite, but it’s more than that. The letter is a microcosm of the depth and complexity illustrated throughout the narrative. At first glance, the love note is just that, a note from one party to another, but by the end of the story it becomes so much more. It becomes a beacon of hope and illustrates a love greater than anything mere humans can experience. The Love Note is a breathtaking novel that, simply put, must be read immediately.
Let me just say that EVERYTHING about this novel is my favorite, but if I had to pare down to a single thematic idea, it would have to be moving out of God’s way. Willa is a force to be reckoned with. She is feisty, highly intelligent, and a woman of action. Her heart is always in the right place, but things often don’t work according to her plans and she gets frustrated and disheartened. I had to laugh at Willa’s antics because I definitely saw myself in her character a few times. There are two moments in the story that really stood out to me. First, a conversation between Willa and wise, old Aunt Maisie. In frustration Willa states, “Why can’t I ever seem to say the right thing? My words … they’re still wrong, Aunt Maisie.” Aunt Maisie tells Willa that the problem lies with Willa. Willa is using her words, not God’s. Willa rushes in to save the day instead of pausing, praying, and saturating herself in God’s Words. I may have blushed a little at Maisie’s brilliance while scenes of my past flitted across my mind’s eye. We humans would do well to pause a bit before we speak and act.
The second moment that stood out to me is when Willa contemplates her love story. She states, “My love story took longer than most to fully show itself.” This one phrase from the novel made me contemplate my own love story. Mine took a LONG time to show itself. Like Willa, I believed I was slated to be a spinster and that devastated me. I remember all the disastrous relationships I desperately entered into hoping with all my heart that this one would be the one. But they never worked out. It was when I gave up, when I stopped trying to do things my way, that I finally met the man who would be my husband. As Willa realizes in this novel, I had to come to the understanding that I was getting in the way of the story God had planned for me and along the way I made some pretty terrible mistakes. Don’t worry, Willa is much better than I am and her story is nothing like mine, but the idea of getting in God’s way is the same. Willa’s words and actions do get her and others into a little bit of trouble. My words and actions have done the same. The lesson is clear: to experience the best God has for us, we must stop, pause, saturate ourselves in His Word, and let God be God.
I could go on and on with this review. The Love Note is excellently written, highly engaging, and utterly breathtaking. This is a novel I will not ever forget. The Love Note is a must-read story, and I implore you to purchase a copy for yourself today. You will not regret your purchase.
I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the publisher, Fleming H. Revell Company, via NetGalley, in order to review. I also received a paperback copy of this novel from the author, Joanna Politano, as well. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.