Sunday, October 23, 2016

Author Jason F. Wright

The Wednesday Letters 

By Jason F. Wright 

A book review by Ginger Dawn Harman 


I received an autographed copy of The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright as a gift from a female reader. I was rather excited about reading the bestselling novel and found that I was quickly captured as an audience. However, I found the novel as an average read and disappointing. I do find that Jason Wright does have a gift for storytelling and connects on many different levels with readers. So much so that his characterizations and emotions create a love/hate for his novels. This is evident with other book reviewers.

Unfortunately, I feel that his choice with having the rapist of Laurel portrayed as the forgiven, beloved, and accepted pastor toward the end of the novel has taken away from the central message. Knowing that the author is a member of the LDS church this does not surprise me that the author conveys this message. As an ex member of the LDS “Mormon” church, many of the leaders carry this same attitude that one must forgive and forget. It is because of this plot development that I cannot rate this novel above a two star.

I appreciate the review written by K. Byrd. She was spot on when she said, “The premise of family secrets being revealed through the weekly letters was an intriguing idea. Alas, everything else about this book was completely preposterous. I believe in the power of forgiveness but one can forgive without embracing the offender as part of your life. I'm certainly not going to make my RAPIST my pastor. And, wow, how many plot resolutions can you have in one night: the quickie resolution of Matthew's troubled marriage along with his wife's surprise announcement; "Mr. Tweed", the man Malcolm beat up, shows up after the funeral with a sudden, inexplicable case of remorse after two years with his surprise announcement; Malcom learns that dear 'ol bio dad - the man who raped his mom - is, in fact, the pastor of the church and he is okay with that. We learn that Mom and Pop forgave him (which is good) and then HELPED him get his job as a pastor and helped overcome other people's reservations about his appointment. Yeah, right.... What's next.... let's hire the pedophile as the youth minister? I was okay with the forgiveness part but it all seemed highly, ridiculously unlikely as were all of the resolutions occurring in one single night.”

Not every situation in a plot development needs to have an answer or resolution. It is the reader’s imagination and ability to have room to also create that bond the reader experiences. Such author interference is obtrusive and irritating. Keep you and your real world outside the fictional world rather than traipsing through it. Was it really important that we know why they allowed a sexual perpetrator, a drunk family member back into the children’s lives? Or was the story about the love of their parents that both died the same night and the letters that give a different perspective?

Leave such intrusions out of your fiction. Let the story itself—the actions and reactions of the characters—speak for themselves. By the way, I found it wasn’t plausible that Laurel could just forgive a man after a rape and never have an emotion over this. However, I did find the pace of the novel was quick and this book can be finished in two days for the average reader. The book reminds me of some of the work by Nicolas Sparks.

Overall, I found The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright overwritten, lacking of structure, and displaying a regressive female attitude.


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