I am pleased to be sharing my review of Dan Proops’ debut novel A Letter from Sarah with you today.
Thank you to Kelly Lacey at Love Books Group Tours for inviting me to take part and to Urbane Books for sending me a copy of the book in return for my honest review.
Scroll down to find out more about the book and to read my thoughts.
~ Publisher’s Description ~
Adam’s sister, Sarah, has been missing for seven years, but he hasn’t given up hope of finding her. He is a sculptor and lives with his bedridden father who is a bully and a curmudgeon.
One morning, as the anniversary of Sarah’s disappearance nears, Adam receives a letter from her and she is apparently alive and well, living in New York. Adam travels to Brooklyn to search for Sarah as he’s desperate to see her, but she seems determined to avoid him.
Sarah’s letters arrive weekly, but she continues to remain elusive. Adam is perplexed by Sarah’s requests for secrecy, as is his father and his girlfriend, Cassandra.
He is determined to find her, whatever the cost to his wellbeing, health and sanity….
~ My thoughts ~
I want to begin by mentioning how well packaged A Letter from Sarah is. The cover (below) is simple yet effective and I love the font choice and colour. It ties in nicely with the idea of the letters coming from New York. At the top of the page for each new chapter, there is ripped paper and a piece across the bottom follows through the entire book. It’s almost as though the story has been written on paper. At the end of each chapter, there is a silhouette of the Manhatten skyline, as per the photo on the left.
The story itself is far from simple though . Dan Proops has crafted an intimate observation of how the loss and resulting grief from a situation can take over your life and impact on those around you. Essentially, it shows how the not knowing what happened could literally drive you mad. We meet Adam, the protagonist, seven years after his sister, Sarah goes missing. With no word from her in this time, suddenly, letters from Sarah start to arrive. This leads Adam to try to find track her down, no matter what.
My thoughts about A Letter from Sarah have taken a while to settle in my mind. This isn’t because I didn’t enjoy the story. I just wasn’t sure what to make of it. Dan Proops has a style of writing that I’ve not read before. Some of the time, I was trying to decide whether I was reading thoughts and feelings from Adam’s imagination or whether it was his reality. As I write this, I think what I was reading was Adam verging on the edge of madness.
This book was not what I expected. Even so, something kept me reading, wanting more. The twist at the end was not something I saw coming and reflecting on this, Dan Proops has created a haunting and disturbing story. You’ll have to read the book to find out more about this.
~ Where to find A Letter from Sarah ~
~ About Dan Proops ~
Dan has been a full time writer for six years and has completed four novels and a memoir. He wrote short stories as a teenager gleaning knowledge from his grandmother, the legendary advice columnist, Marje Proops.
Dan was a professional artist, and had a one man show at the age of fourteen in London. He’s had many exhibitions over a long career and his artwork was purchased by internationally acclaimed art dealer, Eric Franck. His artwork appeared frequently in the national press and his painting was featured in Image of the Week in the Times. One of his exhibitions was previewed in the Telegraphby columnist Colin Gleadell.
Dan lives and works in London. He is a Twitter influencer and has a following of 22, 000. Dan has been using the twitter platform for some years. In 2016 he had a wide outreach and his tweets were seen by 1.5 million users.
~ Where to find Dan Proops ~
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