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The Letter, the final book of the Christmas Box collection is, most simply stated, the love story of David and MaryAnne Parkin. But it is also everyone's love story, for it is about the storms that all relationships must face when the blissful state of romance vanishes into one of real-life challenges and difficulties. We often forget that it is in the hard times that we truly see what is best in love as well as in life. Though love may be temporarily darkened, true love never gives in, or up, but holds tight to noble ideas, which transcend this earth and all time.
The Letter is also about our pasts and our individual quests to discover who we are. In The Letter, David Parkin sets out on a journey to find his mother, a woman who abandoned him when he was a child. In truth, however, David is searching for himself as he seeks to free himself from the pain of her rejection and his fear that he was somehow unworthy of her love. In a sense, David's search is the same journey we are all pursuing. We are all seeking love.
My hope is that you will feel what I felt as I wrote this book -- the divine nature of loyalty and the understanding of why we must share love whenever and wherever.
One final note. I am saddened to finish the Christmas Box trilogy and to bid good-bye to the Parkin family. I do not know if I shall ever visit them again, but I am glad for this last story -- a story which I think is a fitting sendoff for the characters I've grown to love. I hope that the message you find in their lives is meaningful to your own. And, most of all, that in reading the Christmas Box collection, you, and those with whom you share my books, will never be the same.
With my love, Richard Paul Evans
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The Letter, the final episode of Richard Paul Evans's Christmas Box trilogy (The Christmas Box, Timepiece), begins in the winter of 1933. A bent and bereft hag is spotted crouching over the snowy grave of Andrea Parkin, David Parkin's three-year-old daughter who died twenty years prior. When the night watchman approaches the figure and tells her the cemetery is closed, she mysteriously disappears, leaving behind one red rose and a letter. When the child's mother comes to pay respect the following day, she finds the letter and its shocking news. Could David's mother be alive? The search for the answer sends David on a cross-country journey and into the arms of another woman. But the knowledge he gains gives him the strength to make the ultimate sacrifice for his loved ones. The dialogue is at times overly portentous, such as: "'David, what your mother is, or was, has nothing to do with who you are.' David shook his head. 'It has everything to do with who I am. Especially now. My mother's leaving is the reason I cannot forgive myself for losing my daughter.'" And one tires of Evans's three favorite words--"ardent," "gasp," and "cacophony." But fans of his sentimental journeys will want to keep their hankies handy.About the Author:
RICHARD PAUL EVANS is the #1 best-selling author of The Christmas Box. His fourteen novels have each appeared on the New York Times bestseller list; there are more than thirteen million copies of his books in print. His books have been translated into more than 22 languages and several have been international best sellers. He is the winner of the 1998 American Mothers Book Award, two first place Storytelling World Awards for his children’s books, and the 2005 Romantic Times Best Women Novel of the Year Award. Evans received the Washington Times Humanitarian of the Century Award and the Volunteers of America National Empathy Award for his work helping abused children. Evans lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife, Keri, and their five children.
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