Books

Sam’s Letter to Jennifer by James Patterson | Book Review

Synopsis

Narrator Jen returns to her grandmother Samantha, who fell and is in a coma. She finds a series of letters addressed to her, about Sam’s secret affair. Meanwhile a childhood summer pal moves in nearby. Brendan is handsome, kind, funny, and ill. Two extraordinary love stories are entwined.

Review

I can’t help but compare this to Patterson’s other book, Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas.The letter concept was almost the same but aside from that, it’s completely different.

The story is about a grandmother and a granddaughter who were each other’s best friends. Jennifer was at her lowest emotional state due to the death of her husband and the miscarriage of her baby shortly after her husbands’s death. She poured herself into work as a means of coping up. In the middle of her work, she received a call from John Farley telling her that her grandma took a fall in the stairs and was in a state of coma. She decided to go home to her grandma’s house and when she got there she was surprised with a bunch of letters all addressed to her. The letters were written by Samantha.

JENNIFER. I like her. She’s a very strong woman who came to terms with the guilt she had over the death of her husband and anger that her baby and her husband were taken away from him. She was a woman who was lost and was able to find her path again. She was able to believe in love again through Brendan. She didn’t give up the hope of falling in love again.

SAMANTHA. I love her. I love her attitude towards life and how she sees something good in everyone else. She fell in love with an emotionless man who just used her to get back to his adoptive father. I can’t believe she stuck up with her husband even after all the things he did to her. And I was thankful that she found someone who loves her as much as she loves him.

BRENDAN. I like him because he lived for Jennifer. I like him because he’s funny and very comfortable to talk to. I like how he changed his perspective about life after he found out his condition. I knew he lost his belief somehow but when Jennifer came along, everything changed. He was eager to change his habits and was eager to undergo an operation which does not guarantee a 100 % rate of waking up again just to give Jennifer the happiness she deserves.

JOHN FARLEY. I adore this man for sticking up to Sam through the years. It’s really possible to find love at any age. I love their secret vacations and escapades. How they secretly book hotel rooms or meeting each other at a remote gas station just so they could be together.

This made me realize that just because we see it perfectly doesn’t mean it really is perfect. Sometimes what we see deceives us. It is also possible to find love when we least expect it. And sometimes when it finds you, you’ll realize that it’s worth that wait. Sometimes we lost someone precious to us only to realize that someone better is waiting at the end of the road. That’s how life works – in mysterious ways.

Quotable Quotes

So many people just give up on love, even though love is the best thing that can happen to them.

***

It was fascinating to watch you try to fit your whole summer into a mayo jar.

It took several tries over one long morning in late August—“Grandma Sam, is it full yet?”—but you finally figured out that the way to fit in the best of your haul was to put the big rocks into the jar first. After that, the pebbles and snail shells would sift down into the spaces between the rocks.

When the jar looked filled to the brim, you could still get in a few lids of sand.

And finally, when there didn’t seem to be room for another thing, you dunked your jar in the lake and topped off your “beach” with water. Smart girl!

And I told you, Jenny, that living life was like putting the beach into a jar. The point wasn’t to fit everything in; it was to attend to the most important things first—the big, beautiful rocks—the most valuable people and experiences—and fit the lesser things in around them.

Otherwise, the best things might get left out.

Rating: 4/5

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