YOURS TRULY, THOMAS by Rachel Fordham, Reviewed by Trixi Oberembt
I’m fascinated with letter writing because it’s a skill that’s sadly lacking in today’s world, what with the instant communication of text or video chat, or FaceTime or any number of other things people use talk to each other. I find the old fashioned way of reading someone’s words on a page, ones they took time out of their day to sit and write, much more meaningful. So “Yours Truly, Thomas” was already a hit in my mind. Not only did the cover draw me in, but the beautifully penned words Fordham used to create a story kept me embedded in the pages. I also never knew the dead letter office existed. I can’t imagine so many letters without a proper place to send them to were destroyed! And neither can Penny, it seems, as an imagined love story she thinks needs reconciling leads her on an adventure in Azure Springs, Iowa.
I loved the character growth of Thomas and Penny in this second installment of Rachel Fordham’s. That was the biggest complaint I had of “The Hope of Azure Springs” and I’m glad the author reconciled that in this one. To me, it’s the most important aspect of any story, seeing how the characters stretch and adapt to changes. Penny started out quite naïve about the world having grown up in a rich and well-to-do family. Circumstances eventually lead her to run far away from all she knows in pursuit of something better. Thomas wishes to outrun the man he had become and seek the solace of Azure Springs when his wagon broke down outside of town. Seeking solitude, he soon finds himself sinking in despair and haunted by his own poor choices. Only Margaret—the boarding house owner—sees something good in both of them. With her wisdom and practical advice, perhaps God had a hand through her in healing these two hearts and making them better people because of it. They definitely learned life-changing lessons and came out stronger for it.
The lack of a stronger faith message was disappointing. Calling things “fate” or “providence” was a bit off-putting for me in a story labeled as Christian fiction. I absolutely believe God has a hand in orchestrating all things in our lives. I saw Penny and Thomas trying to solve things on their own quite a bit throughout the story and it really made me wince. I NEED to see struggling characters rely on the Lord when things get rough because it gives me hope in my own struggles! I am in no way perfect about doing this ALL the time myself, so I really want to see imperfect characters relying on a perfect God for everything. That is my only complaint with “Truly Yours, Thomas”. I’m sure my own personal taste and level of a faith thread is different than other readers, so don’t let my review sway you from reading this. I like to say, be your own judge of a book; what appeals to me may not appeal to you and vise versa!
I think it’s saying something on how good a book is when I sit down to read it and finish it that same day because I couldn’t put it down if I wanted to! “Truly Yours, Thomas” is an engaging and heartwarming accidental kind of love story where two people “meet” on a sheet of paper in the form of a letter, and it grows into something beautiful from there! I think you will fall in love right along with Thomas and Penny.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Publishing and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions are my own. *
Back Cover Blurb:
For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people's mail.
Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the dead letter office, and she dreams of something more--a bit of intrigue, perhaps a taste of romance. When she comes across a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love, it becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.
But when Penny's undertaking leads her to the intriguing man who touched her soul with his words, everything grows more complicated. She wants to find the rightful owner of the letter, and yet . . . she finds herself caring--perhaps too much--for the one who wrote it.
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