My parents were friends with a couple back in the ’70s who lived together but were not married. We were told that it was for tax reasons – that being two singles filing separately saved money.
I’ve known other people who have been perfectly content living together with no type of commitment but, frankly, the idea just blows my mind. Aside from the Scriptural reasons to marry, the idea of giving myself to a man without him committing to me just doesn’t make any sense. . .
The Love Letter
by Rachel Hauck
Published by Thomas Nelson
Publication Date June 12, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: California, South Carolina Contemporary, American Revolution Era - US - 1760 - 1783
Written for: Adults
With the colonies at war and his country divided, Hamilton Lightfoot must choose sides: Fight for the British Crown or for the Independence of America. But after witnessing the death of his family at the hands of redcoats, he fears he’ll fight for revenge instead of honor. On the verge of a great battle, he pens a letter to Esther, the woman he loves.
Esther Longfellow is in love with Hamilton, but her father is a loyalist, living in upcountry South Carolina and working for a wealthy British lord. When the Revolutionary War comes to her doorstep she is forced to choose between devotion to her father and her love for Hamilton.
Chloe Daschle is the daughter of Hollywood royalty—a great director and an Oscar-winning actress. Yet her career has taken an unexpected turn: She’s the queen of death scenes. Trying to break out, she accepts a supporting role in a revolutionary war film. But she longs for the perfect role and the perfect real-life romance. Does happily ever after only exist in the movies?
After a life-changing tragedy, MIT graduate Jesse Gates decides to leave his life behind and move to LA to try his hand at acting and screenwriting. When he finds a page from one of his ancestor’s letters, he becomes consumed with the love he finds there. Determined to help his grandfather find happiness at the end of his life, Jesse writes and sells a screenplay based on the events surrounding the lost love of previous generations.
When Jesse meets the woman he has cast to play Esther Longfellow—his grandfather’s one true love—the stories of all four collide across time and space. The love letter from the past might have more power to affect the future than any of them could have imagined.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Chloe’s dream of a forever marriage was born in her early childhood, despite the fact that her parents had never made that commitment themselves. They loved each other deeply and were still living together after 35 years, but never made the covenant to remain together – and that really bothered Chloe.
The Love Letter is a deeply moving story of four people, two who live in the present day, Chloe and Jessie, and two who lived during the Revolutionary War, Hamilton and Esther. Author Rachel Hauck intertwines their stories in such a beautiful way. The characters are rich and relatable, and their stories reached deeply into my heart.
I loved the way that reasons for some of the colonists joining the rebellion were brought to light beyond the one that I’ve always heard – taxation without representation. The added drama of friends and neighbors ending up with opposing views on the political issues and the way it ripped lives apart added a very rich dimension.
The spiritual journeys of each of these four were different, and yet they had a common element that was not revealed until the very end. Each of these people had hurts that were just too significant to be ignored, they had to be healed before anyone was able to sustain a relationship.
There were so many surprises throughout. While some things were hinted at enough that I knew how they were going to pan out, I was not expecting others.
Preview of The Love Letter
Guest Post from Rachel Hauck
I’m always looking for story ideas. My husband does a standard disclaimer when I start drilling into a conversation with questions like:
“Really? So why did you do that?”
“Have you sought help?”
“Was it love at first sight?”
Hubster says, “Warning, anything you say can end up in a book.”
Of course, stories abound! Interesting people abound!
Then again, sometimes ideas just hit out of the blue. A few years ago I had the idea of a young, contemporary couple meeting by “accident” only to learn that their great grandparents were in love but time, life, family, war, or society made their love impossible.
I suppose there are a hundred ways to tell such a story but when it came time to write The Love Letter, I was slightly infatuated with the Poldark series on PBS.
Set in 18th century Cornwall, the story and the characters were so dynamic I had to write my own version of Poldark.
But could I write a split time with a 240 year difference? I mean, they didn’t have electricity or phones in 1780! They didn’t even have a postal system. Letters were carried by traveling friends or family.
What possible conflicts could my historical characters face? What event could be so dark and tragic to keep them apart?
The Revolutionary War created a perfect backdrop for my young lovers.
I set the story in upcountry South Carolina not realizing the battle I chose for the back drop, the Battle of Cowpens, was the inspiration for the movie The Patriot. (A fav movie of mine!)
For the contemporary story, I started with shoes. I mean, doesn’t every thing start with shoes?
“Nice outfit but what shoes are you wearing?”
“You’re going on a date? You need new shoes.”
What we “walk in” can either empower or defeat us. There’s a spiritual metaphor I’ll mediate on for awhile.
However the shoe angle didn’t quite work so the contemporary story ended up in Hollywood with an actor/screenwriter and an actress.
Both worlds—1780 upcountry South Carolina and contemporary Hollywood—were a bit out of my southern bailiwick.
I did a lot of research on the war and the colonial south. Where I couldn’t find details, I filled in with my imagination.
As for Hollywood, I talked with a screenwriter friend, read books, watched interviews, and then, you know, made the rest up. Don’t you know I eventually ended up on a movie set—Once Upon A Prince—four days after I finished reading the galley proofs for The Love Letter!
One of the hardest parts of the story was the actual love letter. What did it say? Who wrote it and why? Was there more than one? No, only one. But why only one?
I must have written and rewritten the letter five different ways to Sunday before I settled on the magical one.
During the course of the book, I realized I’d never written a love letter. Have you?
I’ve written sentiments to my husband on an anniversary or birthday card. I speak my love and affection out loud all the time. But a bonafide love letter?
A love letter is it’s own art form. They range from sickly sweet with a lot of “darlings” and “sweethearts” to Shakespearean sonnets.
There’s a vulnerability that comes with writing a love letter. Putting one’s heart on the page creates a new level of commitment with your affections.
Will the reader receive your words? Will the reader respond in kind?
It’s fascinating to consider the purpose of a love letter. Have we lost something intrinsic to the human heart with our instant texting and email society.
Can you imagine Romeo texting to Juliet in 2018?
Saw you at your window. You looked hot.
Doesn’t quite have the same ring as: “But soft! what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.”
Scripture is a continuous love letter. “For God so loved the world—”
Whether you write love letters or poems, or quick texts, or put XO’s on cards to loved ones, write a love letter this month.
Write one to yourself, to Jesus, a spouse, child, parent, friend, foe—
See how it will bless your heart! Off to write my love letter…
Rachel Hauck’s The Love Letter Pinterest Board
(click here to go directly to the board on Pinterest)
[gs_pinterest user=”rachelhauck” board=”the-love-letter”]
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Christian Author, J.E.Grace, July 3
Fiction, Faith, and Fun, July 4
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 4
Jeanette’s Thoughts, July 4
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away:
Grand prize of a Kindle Fire 7
Semi-Grand prize of a book basket
2nd – 4th place prize of a copy of The Love Letter!!
Ends July 6, 2018
Click below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d071/the-love-letter-celebration-tour-giveaway