Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dear James by Jon Hassler

Have you ever read a book whose characters were so real that after you finished it you kept wondering for days how they were doing? Jon Hassler’s Agatha McGee is one of those characters. I enjoyed getting to know her in A Green Journey and was anxious to become reacquainted in Dear James, a sequel that takes place three years later.

I can’t remember the last time I read a book so voraciously. Sunday afternoon I sat down in an easy chair, opened it up, and hardly moved till I’d finished at 1:30 in the morning. I didn’t like it as well as the first one because of some of the side stories, but I was heartened to find Agatha unchanged and as stalwart as ever.

In the first book she and her friend James are separated by a huge secret. In this book they work at rebuilding their friendship. There are several unexpected twists, some hilarious conversations and a satisfying ending to this lovely story. The letters Agatha and James write to each other are delightful.

Dear Agatha,

I cannot tell you how overjoyed I am to have your letter, so generously full of the life you’re leading and the thoughts you’re thinking, I will try my best to respond in kind, but at the moment I’m off to Dublin for an appointment and my bus is about to pull out. This is simply to say that you’ll be hearing from me at greater length, and that by answering my letter you have answered my prayers.

Fondly and gratefully,

James

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