"An inspiring work"
Though he knows he is dying that does not disturb Harry
Whitney. However, Alzheimer's bothers him because he
realizes how much the disease has changed him from Grandpa
Harry to an old cranky geezer complaining about
everything. Harry has several grandchildren, but his
favorite is Emily, who visits him every week.
When Harry dies, his daughter-in-law Laura, finds three
homemade books filled with his poems and stories. Together
with her daughter Emily, who mourns the most over the loss
of her best friend, they read Harry's poetry and stories,
realizing that each contain a coded password that opens a
related computer file. Inside the files are special notes
to Harry's beloved Emily to help her in life. Other family
members soon read Emily's treasure that reminds them how
remarkable Harry had been as a person, father, husband, and
grandfather before Alzheimer's destroyed his mind and body.
This inspirational family drama will leave the audience
crying for joy and out of sadness. Harry in life and death
is quite a protagonist as his wisdom passes down to Emily
and others. When the tale focuses on Harry directly or
indirectly (the sandwich generation struggling on what is
the right thing to do with their father) or on Emily's
child-like but mature understanding of him, the book is
incredible. When the tale centers on the breakup of
marriages amidst Harry's children, it adds depth yet too
much angst that weighs down the reader a bit. Still
LETTERS FOR EMILY is a powerful and insightful look at the
individual members of a family.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 24, 2003