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Tuesday, February 28, 2023



Life is good on their Pennsylvania Amish farm for newlyweds Vic and Eleanor Lapp—until the day Vic’s youngest brother drowns in their pond and Vic turns to alcohol to numb the pain. Things get so bad that Vic loses his job and their marriage is coming apart. Eleanor is desperate to help her husband and writes letters to her friend, Doretta, living in Indiana for advice. The trust Eleanor places in her friend and the gentle words she receives in return are a balm for even darker days to come in this first book of The Friendship Letters series by New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.


I will first warn those who may be triggered by a story about the death of a child and /or alcoholism and depression to be cautious reading this story. It is difficult to read but I believe the author has written a realistic look at what could happen to someone dealing with grief and addiction. This book is one of the author’s best that I have read from her. She delivers a story that deals with the  death of someone that shatters a family. I never expected it and when I read what had happened I cried. It is hard to understand why a young child dies and  the  pain is overwhelming. Eleanor and Vic are newly married and I liked how devoted they are  to each other. Vic’s past is a little tainted with his brush with alcohol. He assures  his wife that is in the past and not to worry about it. 

When Vic’s young brother dies he is so overcome with grief and  he shuts himself away from everyone. He blames himself for his brother’s death and he is angry with God. Eleanor is very patient with Vic and I loved how she tried so hard to comfort him and tell him he is not to blame. She prayed daily for him and never wavered in her love for her husband. She knows her husband has turned to alcohol to ease his pain and guilt but she desperately wants to give him hope. 

Vic self destructs slowly and with it comes consequences. I appreciate the author illustrating what grief can do to someone. Oh how I understand how heartbreaking it is to watch someone you love turn to alcohol as a way to escape but as we will see, Vic is going down a road where he may find himself alone and broken. He blames God for not saving his brother and starts to turn his back on his faith as well as his family. Eleanor is left to pick  up the pieces of her broken marriage. Vic now is at a place where he sinks to the bottom of the pit and must find strength to overcome his addiction and allow God to  heal him. 

I loved how Eleanor was willing to stand by Vic and forgave  him for the  things he had done. The author shows how important it is to have family support when someone  is dealing with addiction. Eleanor had a dear friend whose letters became hope and a   lifeline for her. The story is a great example of how anyone can fall and the struggles they face as they try to overcome how destructive their addiction is not only to theirselves but  to their family and friends.  

I received a copy of this book from the author. The review is my own opinion.

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