Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I could not resist marking this book for reading when I read the name of the author. Ava Dellaira. We share the same first name.
As the title shows, the book is written as a series of letters to dead people who the narrator, Laurel, idolizes. Kurt Cobain, River Phoenix, Judy Garland, E.E. Cummings, John Keats, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earheart, Janis Joplin, Allan Ginsberg, Jim Morrison, Elizabeth Bishop.
All these people died young and faced troubles in their life. Yet, they created everlasting art and things of beauty.
Laurel has faced a lot of tragedy over the past few years. Her parents separated. May, her beautiful older sister died. May was in High School and full of promise and beauty. Soon after this, her mother left to go to California.
Feeling abandoned, Laurel keeps her secrets pent up inside her and tries to live. She changes her school and avoids all people from her previous life. But her past keeps looming up ahead and prevents her from any future happiness.
Laurel's English teacher sets them an assignment to write a letter to a dead person. Finding unexpected relief in this, Laurel starts writing letters to dead people and tells her story through them.
The book is very beautiful and emotional. In the end Laurel finds it is not just her, but also people around her - her Father, Mother, Aunt Amy, boyfriend Sky, friends Hannah, Natasha, Tristan and Kristen - who are looking for answers to their problems.
Together they join hands and help each other to make their life more bearable and try to find answers.
The book is pretty heavy and depressing at times. It is not easy to read a book where such young people are so unhappy.
The writing is simply very beautiful. I would recommend the book just for that.
The book is full of references to good art, music, poems, films.
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