Letters to Omar

25 May 2011

Letters to Omar
by Rachel Wyatt
Published by Coteau Books
Review by Sharon Adam
$21.00 ISBN 978-1-55050-448-4

Letters To Omar is a novel by Rachel Wyatt which revolves around three lifelong friends as they plan a dinner for a charity supporting Afghan civilians. Dorothy writes intimate fantasy letters to Omar Sharif and other notable people, none of which are sent. The letters attract the attention of a publisher, newly arrived from Europe and looking for his first project. Add to the mix an estranged husband looking to return, a daughter who returns from a self-imposed exile and other family chaos and you have the beginning of a story that will surprise and delight.

Family is a huge part of the story: we feel Delphine’s confusion as her son leaves home for Afghanistan, not as a soldier but as a volunteer aid worker. We feel her guilty delight of having her home to herself, and resentment when a visiting cousin ruins that sense of privacy.

People do odd things, sometimes in the face of common sense and the advise of friends. We are not always in control of our emotions and the heart doesn’t always agree with the head. Eventually we know that family is the most important thing and we will do the right thing to preserve it. Rachel Wyatt has seamlessly joined all the tangled threads of the characters lives without confusing the reader and with humour and a knowledge of human nature that plainly exerts itself in the narrative.

This book is enjoyable to read and will make you laugh, as well as give you pause to think of what is important in one’s life. Dreams can come true and life has a way of forcing us to make the hard decisions and compromises that keep us strong and together in the end. Place Rachel Wyatts book on your list of must reads and great gifts and neither you or your recipient will be disappointed.


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