When I heard about a story of a girl who left love letters for strangers, I was instantly intrigued. Hannah Brencher's new book, If You Find This Letter is the story of a fresh college grad trying to find her place and her purpose in this life.
Hannah is open and brutally honest about herself and the struggles she faces. Throughout the book she learns to see her actions and feelings in a new light. When she starts her year of volunteer work she is naive, ambitious, lonely and self-pitying. As she moves through the difficulty of what it means to grow up and to know who you are, she starts to discover that sometimes it's little actions that make the bigger impact, and that loneliness may be the tie that binds us all. She is surprised to discover that people all over her city, and the world are aching for the same things she is: Love--Worth--Purpose. I love that she serendipitously learns as much from her volunteer time at a preschool (which she never even planned to do) as she does working at the UN building. Life is so like that. The lessons are never in the place we expect to learn them.
This was such an interesting book. Some details were a little dramatic for my taste (but it's not her fault I loathe drama). In spite of that, I found myself anxious to read on and see how her story turned out. I think this would be a great book club book, because there's so much I want to hash out about all of it. Loving on strangers by leaving letters (random acts of kindness!), wanting what I do to matter--figuring out what it is that really matters, and finding God in all of it. Throughout the story Hannah's torn between wanting God so badly, and making Him fit the role in her life she's prepared to offer Him. It's a struggle we all face: How do we be love in this world until we know, truly know, the depths of God's love for us?
This book is a great reminder to look up from our glowing screens, to make eye-contact, and see people. To see their pain, and to be love. I think a letter could just be the beginning for many of us...
If You Find This Letter comes out tomorrow, March 11, 2015. Find it here!
**Just so you know: I received a free copy of If You Find This Letter from Howard books for my honest review. The opinions here are my own, because it's my blog.**