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letters for lucia book coverReviewed by Lauren Cannavino

It is often said that the true test of strength is how we react in situations of strife and even tragedy. Letters for Lucia is the work of one such critical and heartbreaking test for David Brown Jr. Placed in a terrible situation that would have caused so many to head in the opposite direction, in a way almost rightfully so, David instead shifts his focus to opening his heart, mind and life to love and light. The book is a story of forgiveness, of lessons and growth and offers proof that even in times of terrible hardship, it is possible to not only go on, but also to thrive.

David Brown Jr. was young, successful, ready to have fun and looking for love. Coming from a close, warm family, David wanted to share his ability to love and his passions with someone and in meeting Jolie through mutual friends, he thought he finally had his chance. Jolie originally hailed from Uzbekistan and was a student when she met David. Captivated by her looks, her strong sense of family and more, David thought he had found his person. After Jolie found out she was pregnant, the two were pressured to marry and after his strong initial hesitation, David finally agreed.

Things were not easy for the young couple even after the birth of their daughter Lucia, but David resolved to do whatever he could for his tiny family against all odds. The story begins to shift when the couple disagrees over where Lucia should be taken for medical treatment, the US or abroad, and everything about their relationship begins to fall apart. After maxing out funds to send his wife and daughter overseas, David feels hope when they return, but things again turn towards the negative for David. A normal Saturday ends up being like no other when he receives an email from Jolie informing him that she and Lucia have left the country and there’s nothing he can do to stop them or change her mind. Absolutely furious and also crushed, David learns that his wife, daughter and mother in law have fled to their home country and there seems to be little that he can do about it. It was very disheartening to read how helpless David felt and how much legal and bureaucratic red tape he had to endure just to get answers. With minimal communication from his wife and little hope to ever be reunited with his child, David had no choice but to turn inward for reflection.

Letters for Lucia is an inspirational and emotional read. The author begins each chapter with a letter to the daughter he cannot see and even without knowing her whereabouts, his love for her can be felt across the pages and miles. The lessons he presents to Lucia translate into lessons for the reader and for David himself. He makes it abundantly clear that often we have the choice to choose how we feel, how we react and where we go emotionally. The book is an encouragement to head to the light and to stay positive. David Brown does not preach, readily shares his own downfalls/shortcomings and encourages the reader to step outside of situations and look for paths to acceptance, forgiveness, hope and light. The book is a quick, engaging and each chapter culminates with author presenting questions for the reader to reflect on as part of their own inward journey.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.wordpress.com.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by David Brown Jr.