If You Find This Letter
If You Find This Letter was not a book that I ever envisioned reading. I've been getting Hannah Brencher's Monday morning emails for a few months, and I've subscribed to her blog posts, so I know the power of her words. They've been sent to me in times of need, and I've sent them when I think others need them. But that's free--all it takes is the click of a button and a few minutes of your day to read the emails. But a book? That's money that could be spent on something else, and a significant portion of your day. Or days, if you don't sit down to read everything in one sitting.
But something back in June compelled me to take a Barnes and Noble gift card and go purchase her book. I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into when I bought it. All I knew was that one of my best friends was absolutely enamored with HB, and the book had made her cry. I was planning on reading the book a few chapters at a time, spreading it out over a week or so.
If You Find This Letter does not let you do that. From the minute you start reading, your heart goes out to the nervous girl heading off for the big city, with a peanut butter sandwich packed in her suitcase, leaving her mom at the train station. It's an experience that many of us have experienced, and if we haven't, we will, or, at the very least, we can empathize with her. The first chapter draws you in, and the second one plants roots in your heart, and by the beginning of the third chapter, it becomes very difficult to put the book down.
The book details Brencher's life preceding the creation of her organization, More Love Letters. It's an autobiography, but it's written in her voice, with little gems of wisdom and beautifully put together sentences that make you realize how truly gifted with words this woman is. Each chapter builds on the last, the final ones focusing on the actual creation of More Love Letters.
And while the rest of the book is a gem, these last few chapters are the one that are the most important. They are the ones where she paints a picture of the kind of humans we want to be. Where she reminds you of how good people can be--all you have to do is ask them to show up. She tears your heart apart in the first two parts of the book, and in the last, she starts piecing it back together. You are given the responsibility of sewing your heart back together, but Brencher will help you put the pieces into place before you must begin to sew.
If you read Brencher's blog, write love letters, appreciate words, or have ever felt lost, lonely, or lost faith in humanity, If You Find This Letter is a must read.