Letters from My Sister by Valerie Fraser Luesse ~ Book Review

September 8, 2023


About the Book 

Book: Letters from My Sister
Author: Valerie Fraser Luesse
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
Publisher: Revell
Release Date: August 15, 2023

Two Sisters. One Single Event. A Family Changed Forever.

At the turn of the twentieth century, sisters Emmy and Callie Bullock are living a privileged life as the only daughters of a wealthy Alabama cotton farmer when their well-ordered household gets turned upside down by the arrival of Lily McGee. Arrestingly beautiful, Lily quickly--and innocently--draws the wrong kind of attention. Meanwhile, Callie meets a man who offers her the freedom to abandon social constraints and discover her truest self.

After Lily has a baby, Callie witnesses something she was never meant to see--or did she? Her memory is a haze, just an image in her mind of Emmy standing on a darkened riverbank and cradling Lily's missing baby girl. Only when the sisters are separated does the truth slowly come to light through their letters--including a revelation that will shape the rest of Callie's life.

Bestselling author Valerie Fraser Luesse weaves a complex and suspenseful tale dripping with intrigue, romance, and Southern charm.

My Thoughts 

This is my second book by Valerie and I must say that I really enjoy her writing. She brings not only the characters to life but the setting as well. She truly transported me to 1911 Alabama and made me a part of this wonderful cast of characters. This wasn't your typical story it was haunting, beautiful and full of emotions. Immediately we meet Callie and Emmy who are extremely close sisters. They are like night and day but in the best possible way. They definitely compliment each other. Their family is very close knit and I absolutely loved that despite the color of their skin they would do anything for the other family in the story. Race to them had nothing to do with it. They not only helped each other but relied on each other as well.

I'm not going to reveal too much of the story, I think the book blurb gives you enough intrigue to whet your appetite for the book, but I will say that this story is heart tugging filled with grief, heartbreak and love that will keep you turning the pages but along with that came hope, faith and healing. 

There are some things that may not sit well with some readers. There is a character that has visions and can sense things. I honestly did not see this as a negative. I know God puts people in our path that he reveals things to but I also understand that is not everyones belief so just so you have a heads up. Also the title may seem as we may be reading an epistolary type of book, at least that is what I thought it would be like before I received the book but the "letters" don't come into play until closer to the end of the book. I can see now how they would relate to the title and how meaningful they were to the characters. 

Overall I really enjoyed this story and I can't wait to read more from this author. 

I received a copy of this book for review. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

About the Author

Valerie Fraser Luesse is an award-winning magazine writer best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she is currently a senior travel editor. Her work has been anthologized in the audio collection Southern Voices and in A Glimpse of Heaven, an essay collection featuring works by C. S. Lewis, Randy Alcorn, John Wesley, and others. As a freelance writer and editor, she was the lead writer for Southern Living 50 Years: A Celebration of People, Places, and Culture. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse has published major pieces on the Gulf Coast, the Mississippi Delta, Louisiana's Acadian Prairie, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Her editorial section on Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana won the 2009 Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society. Luesse earned her bachelor's degree in English at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, and her master's degree in English at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She grew up in Harpersville, Alabama, a rural community in Shelby County, and now lives in Birmingham.

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