For three years, Penny Ercanbeck has been opening other people's mail. Dead ends are a reality for clerks at the Dead Letter Office. Still she dreams of something more--a bit of intrigue, a taste of romance, or at least a touch less loneliness. When a letter from a brokenhearted man to his one true love falls into her hands, Penny seizes this chance to do something heroic. It becomes her mission to place this lost letter into the hands of its intended recipient.
Thomas left his former life with no intention of ending up in Azure Springs, Iowa. He certainly didn't expect a happy ending after what he had done. All he wanted to do was run and never look back. In a moment of desperation, he began to write, never really expecting a reply.
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,
Yours Truly, Thomas by Rachel Fordham
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely loved this historical fiction book that is set in the 1800s in Azure Springs, Iowa and I enjoyed learning about the workings of the dead-letter office. I was vaguely familiar with this office in Washington, DC but I didn't realize the true efforts of the peopLe who worked there in trying to get the mail to the intended recipients. The heroine of Yours Truly, Thomas is a clerk in the dead-letter office and she is especially diligent in finding the people for whom the mail was intended. One letter touches her especially and she travels to Azure Springs, Iowa so that she can make sure that Clara gets her letter from Thomas. What follows is a story filled with a little humor, some mystery and intrigue, and the realization that even though life doesn't always end up the way we thought, the results can offer happiness.
Author Rachel Fordham has created some great supporting characters and I especially liked Margaret Anders, the owner of the boardinghouse where Penny lives; Dinah, Penny's friend in Washington, DC; and Penny's 'mud-loving' dog Honeysuckle. Penny finds great love and acceptance from all of them and Margaret and Honey provide humor in this story that is sometimes filled with sadness. Margaret also plays a matchmaker as she recognizes the hurts and loneliness that Penny and Thomas have experienced in their lives.
The letters written by Thomas to Clara, the letters exchanged between Thomas and Penny, and the letters that Penny writes to her friend Diana and to her own mother are all a reminder of a time when handwritten letters were the norm and certainly not the exception. I recall writing letters to my friends, to my cousins, and even to pen pals and this wonderful novel has helped me recall the excitement of receiving a lettter in the mail. I am so in love with Yours Truly, Thomas!
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and I voluntarily chose to write this review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rachel Fordham has long been fascinated by all things historical or in the words of her children “old stuff”. Often the historical trivia she discovers is woven into her children's bedtime tales. Despite her love for good stories she didn’t attempt writing a novel until her husband challenged her to do so (and now she’s so glad he did). Since that time she’s often been found typing or researching while her youngest child naps or frantically writing plot twists while she waits in the school pick-up line. In addition to her passion for storytelling she enjoys reading, being outdoors and seeing new places. Rachel lives with her husband and children on an island in Washington state.
Learn more about current projects at rachelfordham.com
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