Reviewed by Jadidsa Perez
Like an intricate wax seal, concealing a wonderful surprise inside
Please Write by Lynne Kolze is an impassioned plea to get you to return to writing letters. It is evidence of just how meaningful the act can be—for writer and recipient. This book can inspire readers to become more compassionate through their own words, and there’s supplementary material, like real letters that were preserved in Kolze’s family, along with pictures and stories. Each chapter spearheads a separate but vital aspect of letter writing to make it special and accessible in this new wave of technology.
The premise of this book excited me. I thought of writing letters as a bit dusted over, didn’t you? But as I read on, I found myself resonating deeply with Kolze’s purpose and narrative. The writing, when centered around Kolze’s personal reasons for loving letter writing, is emotionally pulling to the point where I found myself replicating those emotions. Kolze’s stories about her mother and grandmother stand out too. The act of letter writing is a sort of an heirloom.
Please Write also includes a lot of fascinating history regarding letters. The “Dear John” letters call to me especially. Receiving a letter can be a touching event, but other times it can be heartbreaking. The widescope of letters covered in this book make it that much more engaging; like an unopened box, whatever is inside can contain so much. Kolze’s way of making letters not just a form of communication but a multitude that can freeze a person’s thoughts? It’s so very inspiring.
Kolze also provides a lot of science behind the benefits of letter writing, which is as unexpected as it is interesting. A big point of the book focuses on loneliness and the ways in which letters can help. There were a lot of times during this book where I felt drawn to write letters to those around me, but I felt it especially when reading about how much it meant for Kolze and her husband when they were apart.
Please Write imparts much wisdom and calls to a forgotten (but not gone) art form that readers who have an appreciation for the written word will really fall for. It is a winsome, pleasant read that will stick with me as I age and look for ways to connect with my loved ones.
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