The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller
eBook review copy:
The Missing Letters of Mrs Bright by Beth Miller is a so-so novel about a woman having a mid-life crisis.
Kay Bright has been following the same routine day in and day out for
twenty-nine years. She works in her husband’s stationery shop, she
does the shopping and the cooking, she practices yoga, and every other
month she writes a letter to her best friend Bear (Ursula) who is living
in Australia. Every other month Bear sends a letter to Kay. They have
done this since they were teens and Bear moved to Australia. Kay is now
concerned because she hasn't heard from Bear in 6 months, that's three
missing letters. This is the impetus that causes Kay to pack a bag, take
her wedding ring off, and leave her husband. She is planning to travel
to see Bear, and then travel, hopefully going to Vienna. She feels like
life has passed her by, her husband is a bore, and she needs to escape
to do her own thing. In alternating chapters Kay's daughter Stella is
going through her own crisis - trying to find her way in the world.
What appealed to me was the epistolary aspect of the novel. Generally I
like novels that tell part of the story through letters (or emails,
texts, etc.). They did add to the plot, but not quite as much as I
anticipated. Kay's reaction to not hearing from Bear was over-the-top
nonsensical. Maybe Bear doesn't reply to emails or is hard to get a hold
of on the phone. If her friendship means this much to you, Keep Trying.
In the end, the life long friendship actually seemed a shallow one. Kay
didn't even seem to have a real deep friendship with her other
"best"friend, Rose. I was certainly expecting there to be more behind
her leaving than the reasons given. She is able to talk and perhaps it
would have behooved her to use her words and talk to her husband. She
also was strangely competent and comfortable traveling for someone who
longed to do it but hadn't done so for over 30 years.
I don't actually even know why I finished this novel as I generally
don't like romance novels. I guess I was anticipating some depth of
character and emotions that were both sorely lacking. Kay is a selfish,
self-centered, annoying woman who seemed to have the missed boarding the
maturity and deep-thinking boat years ago. Obviously this was not the
novel for me. I actually bumped it up to two stars because it was so
obviously a bad choice for me and lots of readers liked it. FYI: Don't
fall for the hype; it is not as good as Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, A Man
Called Ove, and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.
My review copy was courtesy of Bookouture.