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Book Review: Papa’s Letters by Judith C. Lovell

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In Papa’s Letters: Love via First-Class Male by Judith C. Lovell, the author shares her grandparents’ story of love and perseverance. The book is a combination of handwritten letters from “Papa” to his future wife, Avril, along with some history of this time period. The photos included give the book a personal touch that helps the reader to connect even more with the Hurd family.

It was just before World War I, and David Clarence Hurd (Papa) moved to America in hopes of creating a better life for himself. He told Avril in his letters that America was full of hope and promise, while Jamaica was a poor country. His opportunities in America were much greater, which is why he wanted her to come to America instead of him going back to Jamaica. I enjoyed learning about the history of Jamaica, and I was inspired by the strength of the Jamaicans even during so much adversity.

The author found the letters her grandfather had written to Avril Louise Cato and put them together beautifully in this book. I felt connected to the couple even though there were no letters from Avril included. The traditions of the time were evident in his words, he being a gentleman and putting God first in his life and their relationship. I could relate to his longing to be with his love, as anyone who desperately wants something and is forced to wait can understand. The living conditions of the time for immigrants with few resources was tough and “Papa” got along well with no complaining; instead, he saw the positive in America and in his situation. He said that in America, the word “can’t” has been removed because anyone can do anything. He had a very hopeful and positive attitude during his hard times.

Papa’s Letters: Love via First-Class Male is full of sweet and tender moments when “Papa” pours his heart out to the love of his life whom he meets in person for the first time the day before their wedding. It shows how the power of the written word and a shared belief in God can lead to a beautiful and wonderful marriage. They were married nearly 50 years, and this story is an inspiration for all. I recommend this book to anyone wanting to read about a real life romance.

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