THE LOVE LETTER

Cathleen Schine

An anonymous love letter arrives in Helen MacFarquhar’s mail one summer morning. Written by an unknown lover to a mysterious beloved, the letter becomes Helen’s obsession. The proprietress of a bookstore in a quaint New England town, Helen is content with her calm, controlled world, running her life like a well-oiled machine. A merry divorcee with a bright, lovable 11-year-old daughter, she has settled happily into a sensible daily routine of selling books, motherhood, and charming the local townsfolk. “How do you fall in love?” the letter asks. To her dismay, Helen finds out. Johnny is the college student who works in Helen’s bookstore, a boy with all the irresistible modesty and arrogance of youth. Helen knows she is too old for him, and too wise, but the letter’s ardor is overpowering and Helen is swept up in an unlikely, but fiercely tender love affair. The Love Letter was a national bestseller appearing on “Newsday, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe,” and “Village Voice Literary Supplement” lists. Published in highly successful hardcover and mass market editions, this classic 1995 novel is being converted to trade paperback to reach the true audience for literary fiction. Plume edition of Cathleen Schine’s previous novel, “Rameau’s Niece,” continues to sell over 400 copies per month. Schine is a regular contributor to the “New York Times Magazine, Mirabella,” and other publications.

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