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The Resource The lost letters of William Woolf : a novel, Helen Cullen

The lost letters of William Woolf : a novel, Helen Cullen

Label
The lost letters of William Woolf : a novel
Title
The lost letters of William Woolf
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Helen Cullen
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Inside the walls of the Dead Letters Depot, letter detectives work to solve mysteries. They study missing zip codes, illegible handwriting, rain-smudged ink, lost address labels, torn packages, forgotten street names--all the many twists of fate behind missed birthdays, broken hearts, unheard confessions, pointless accusations, unpaid bills, unanswered prayers. Their mission is to unite lost mail with its intended recipients. But when letters arrive addressed simply to "My Great Love," longtime letter detective William Woolf faces his greatest mystery to date. Written by a woman to the soulmate she hasn't met yet, the missives capture William's heart in ways he didn't know possible. Soon, he finds himself torn between the realities of his own marriage and his world of letters, and his quest to follow the clues becomes a life-changing journey of love, hope, and courage
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ William Woolf works in East London's Dead Letters Depot, where he spends his days sifting through bags of mail to reunite lost letters with their rightful owners. Helping these strangers provides William with tremendous satisfaction and distraction from his own troubles: his strained marriage, his unfulfilled dreams, and his lingering writer's block. William discovers a series of letters a woman named Winter has sent to a ""great love,"" her soul mate. While William navigates his dissolving marriage to Clare, he increasingly yearns to find new love with Winter. These strands of his life beginning to merge, William embarks on a journey to understand true love and rediscover his place in the world. In her mesmerizing debut, one of Cullen's many gifts is skillfully managing the voices, stories, and possibilities of the enchanting world of lost letters. In alternating chapters, Cullen allows William and Clare, both well-developed characters, to present their sides of the story. While the abrupt ending might leave readers wondering, it does little to distract from the beauty of Cullen's writing and the power of the story. This moving treatise on love and the art of letter writing will leave readers eager for more from this very talented writer. -- Carol Gladstein (Reviewed 4/1/2019) (Booklist, vol 115, number 15, p17)
  • In a debut recalling Nina George's The Little Paris Bookshop, lost letters end up at the Dead Letters Depot, where letter detectives survey missing zip codes, illegible handwriting, smudgy ink, lost labels, and left-off street names to find the recipients. One detective becomes enthralled with the mystery surrounding correspondence addressed only to "My Great Love." With an 80,000-copy first printing. --Barbara Hoffert (Reviewed 04/01/2018) (Library Journal, vol 143, issue 6, p45)
  • A dead-letter detective rethinks his life when he reads a series of letters addressed to "My Great Love" in Cullen's debut. William Woolf is one of a small handful of postal workers who attend to dead letters, letters that for whatever reason have gotten lost in the system. His particular penchant is for the "supernaturals," letters addressed to mythical, fictional, or otherworldly recipients. When he finds a letter addressed to "My Great Love" in his pile one day, he slowly begins a journey of rediscovery in his own life. The letter writer is addressing her future love whom she's not yet met, and in her, William sees both the vitality of young love and the difference between this vibrancy and the state of his own marriage. His relationship with Clare, his wife of 14 years, has been getting rockier and rockier, and this echo of what they once had brings it to the forefront. Should he find the mysterious letter writer? Should he try to reconnect with his wife? The novel is exceedingly well-written and flows incredibly well. Despite the quirkiness implied by the setting of the dead-letter office, the story is focused much more on William and Clare's marital problems than anything that's happening at William's job. There are chapters told from both William's and Clare's points of view, although more frequently William's. Though Cullen attempts to show that both spouses are somewhat at fault for their situation, Clare is a less sympathetic character; she seems unaware for most of the book of the unrealistic standards she is imposing on her husband. A scene of William reuniting an important package with its recipient is quite moving, and the lack of more scenes showing the pathos of William's work is unfortunate. An eccentric novel with less whimsy than angst. (Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2019)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10732612
Cataloging source
NHP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1981-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Cullen, Helen
Dewey number
823.92
Index
no index present
LC call number
PR6103.U448
LC item number
L67 2019
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Love-letters
  • Letter writing
  • Postal service
  • Postal service
  • Man-woman relationships
Target audience
adult
Label
The lost letters of William Woolf : a novel, Helen Cullen
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm
Extent
334 pages :
Isbn
9781525892080
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1034315995
  • (OCoLC)1034315995
Label
The lost letters of William Woolf : a novel, Helen Cullen
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
23 cm
Extent
334 pages :
Isbn
9781525892080
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • on1034315995
  • (OCoLC)1034315995

Library Locations

    • James City County LibraryBorrow it
      7770 Croaker Road, Williamsburg, VA, 23188, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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