Wednesday, 23 December 2020

Review - The Noel Letters by Richard Paul Evans

There's nothing better to get you into the Christmas spirit than reading a holiday-themed novel. For me, I'm referring to the recently released The Noel Letters by New York Times bestselling author Richard Paul Evans. It's the fourth entry in his standalone Noel Collection series.

The novel centers on Noel Post, a New York publishing house editor who returns to her childhood home in Salt Lake City to visit her dying father. Unfortunately, by the time she arrives, her father has already passed away. On top of grieving about the nearly two decades of estrangement from her father, she's still struggling to get over her recent divorce. Plus, she's almost sure her editing job is long gone due to her negative attitude.

Noel decides to stay in Salt Lake City for the holidays after learning her father left her his Bobbooks book store and nearly a million dollars from his savings and life insurance. She needs time to mourn and contemplate her future. Then out of the blue, encouraging letters from someone calling themselves Tabula Rasa arrive in the mailbox.

Who wrote these letters? Could it be her childhood friend Dylan, who has suddenly reentered her life? Could it be Wendy, the manager of Bookbooks? Or are they written by someone else who wants to help guide Noel out of the darkest time of her life??

Final Thoughts

I've been a fan of Richard Paul Evan's books ever since I read The Christmas Box trilogy way back in the late '90s (or otherwise known as my teenage years). Unlike many male romance authors, Mr. Evan's stories typically end with an uplifting conclusion. His newest novel, The Noel Letter, is a slow-burner story about death, regret, and beginning anew. I liked the main character, Noel, from the get-go. She's well-written with plenty of flaws, which is a trait that's sadly missing in most modern holiday tales. The plot has an It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol vibe to it, only without an angel and ghosts. Like I already mentioned, this story is a slow burner, and it took me a while to get invested in the plot, but once I did, I flew right through the pages.

Overall, The Noel Letters is a charming and emotional story. It's not perfect by any means, as there are a few cringy Hallmark-like moments, but none of them bothered me too much. If you're a fan of Richard Paul Evans's stories, then you're going to enjoy reading The Noel Letters.

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