Love letters have a unique, powerful appeal.What is it that makes them so powerful? The handwriting? The envelopes?The paper? The intimate nature of them? Or is it just because, in the age of SMS’ and email, there is something wonderful about the idea of someone sitting down, usually alone, formulating their thoughts and emotions, then setting them down on paper. To celebrate National Writing Day, I am sharing some of the original love letters that inspired The Very White Of Love. In tightly knotted bundles, they were kept by my mother in a chocolate box for more than seventy years. And contained a family secret that set me on a seven-year journey of discovery.
Martin Reads A Letter From Nancy
” He opens the letter on top of the bulging sheath, then sinks back into the pillows and reads: ‘My darling Tino . . . ’
His eyes travel across the page, following the blue river of her handwriting, as it flows from her heart to his. He imagines standing behind her, watching her as she writes at her desk, up in her bedroom at Blythe Cottage, her red hair spilling over her shoulders, the faint rasp of the nib on the paper, like a mouse nibbling a cracker. Imagines the curves of her body, the narrow waist and full hips. A body like a violin, he thinks.”