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Sam's Letters to Jennifer Paperback – March 1, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Unlike Patterson's Alex Cross thrillers, this sentimental tale does not translate well to audio. The plot twists seem all the more absurd when read aloud, and the audiobook's maudlin music, inserted during the story's poignant moments, is as distracting and disturbing as a TV laugh track. Jennifer, a newspaper columnist who's grieving the death of her husband, has more reason to mourn when her beloved grandmother, Sam, falls into a coma. Jennifer rushes to Sam's home in Lake Geneva, Wis., where she finds a packet of letters addressed to her. The letters detail her grandmother's life story, including an affair she had with a mysterious man. Jennifer takes comfort in the letters, and at the same time, embarks on her own romance with Brendan, an old friend. Heche's thin, mousy voice is perfect for the perpetually worried Jennifer, but she rarely varies her intonation, not even for Brendan's dialogue. Alexander does a better job as Sam, conveying the elderly woman's concern for Jennifer, but her performance isn't sufficient to elevate this flawed audiobook.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

After the success of Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas (2001), it should surprise no one that Patterson is trying his hand at another romantic tale, and this one is every bit as enjoyable as its predecessor. Jennifer, a Chicago Tribune columnist who's still mourning the death of her beloved husband, Danny, is jolted out of her lonely life when she receives news that her grandmother, Sam, has taken a fall and is now in a coma. Racing up to Lake Geneva to be by her grandmother's bedside, Jennifer discovers a packet of letters at Sam's house, which are addressed to her. They are from Sam; in them, Sam tells Jennifer that her husband was not the great love of her life. Instead, Sam was swept off her feet by a man she calls "Doc," whom she still loves to this day. As Jennifer learns some shocking secrets about her grandmother, she finds herself falling under the spell of a handsome neighbor, Brendan. Jennifer is surprised to find she is able to love again after Danny, but just when you think Jennifer's life can't be touched by any more tragedy, she learns a sad secret about Brendan. Patterson is infamous for surprising his readers, though, and the ending to this novel is unexpected, touching, and satisfying. Another winner from Patterson, sure to draw the same audience as Suzanne's Diary. Kristine Huntley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1St Edition edition (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446613347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446613347
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (395 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,010,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

It is no surprise that in January, 2010, The New York Times Magazine featured James Patterson on its cover and hailed him as having "transformed book publishing," and that Time magazine hailed him as "The Man Who Can't Miss." Recently, NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams profiled Patterson's prolific career, AARP named him one of the "50 Most Influential People Who Make Our Days a Little Brighter," and Variety featured him in a cover story highlighting his adventures in Hollywood.

In 2013, it was estimated that one-in-five of all hardcover suspense/thriller novels sold was written by James Patterson, his books have sold over 300 million copies worldwide, and he holds the Guinness record for the most #1 New York Times bestsellers of any author. And his success isn't based solely on thrillers like the perennially popular Alex Cross, Women's Murder Club and Michael Bennett series. Patterson is now also the current bestselling author in the young adult and middle grade categories.

He's been called the busiest man in publishing, and that's not just because of his own books. For the past decade, James has been devoting more and more of his time to championing books and reading. From the James Patterson Pageturner Awards, to his website, to his College Book Bucks scholarships and his regular donations of hundreds of thousands of books to schools here in the states and troops overseas (see interviews on Fox & Friends, The Dennis Miller Radio Show and, Patterson has passed on his passion of books and reading and supported those who do the same. Jim personally funded a major ad campaign re-printing a recent opinion piece on about how it is our responsibility to get our kids reading. The ad has run in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and USA Today. Those ads are a call to action to parents to make their kids reading a top priority; and were featured by USA Today here. Patterson believes that we cannot rely on schools, teachers or the government to get our kids reading; only parents can make this crucial change in the reading habits of our kids. Here are links to some interviews on his first-ever dual lay down (two books, one for parents and one for kids, in one day): AOL's You've Got, NBC's "Today Show" with Hoda and Kathie Lee, USA Today and Family Circle, NBC's "Today Show" with Al Roker, as well as an interview with AARP.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By SG on July 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It still amazes me that the James Patterson can write such graphic stories as the Alex Cross series and also romance stories. I have read all of his books and couldn't put them down. "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" was the first book to make me cry in years. Because of this I was excited to read this book. "Sam's Letters to Jennifer" is a great book, but it was predictable. If you like romantic quick reads than this is the book for you. All of Pattersons books are fast paced and hard to put down. A word of caution however to those who haven't read any of his other stuff and want to now.
His other books like the Alex Cross series are very graphic and gory detailed. I enjoyed them, but they are totally different than his romance novels.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Terry Mathews on August 12, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A co-worker loaned me this book. I thoroughly enjoyed it for what it is . . . a romantic tear jerker, with all that the genre entails. Laughter. Tears. Tragic hero and wounded heroine. Wise role model with secrets of her own. Love lost. Love found. Love almost lost again, due to tragic circumstances.

This book is, at its core, the love story between a girl and her wonderfully brave grandmother.

Well worth a night's read.

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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Very Avid Reader on October 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I found this "novel" to be one of the poorest I have read to date. The characters are not developed, the story line was weak and it lacked imagination. It seemed as if Mr. Patterson stopped by a bar one night and jotted it down on a napkin! It should have been labeled as no more than a short story.

I believe the last time I read a book with such a large font, two inch margin on all four sides and less than 200 words per page ---- I was in the third grade!! New chapters were used as a way of extending the story/number of pages --- they were not used as a means to express a new idea or thought.

Take my advice -- do not waste your time or money.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ambergold on June 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This was a case of being seduced by the title and cover only to be horribly disappointed by the content. Even now I can't believe how bad this book was. Reading the prologue, I found myself wondering if he'd just put no effort into writing that particular part at all- it was that bad. I had high hopes for this book-a bestselling author, fabulous title and it's a love story. But the writing, not to mention the plot, is very very bad-rough, childlike, and has the stamp of an amateur all over it. The language is so simplistic and collooquial that it's full of such gems of literary phrase as "Now that I please myself, my priorities are better" or "I was so happy, and I remember every moment of that night in Lake Geneva" and "Because less than three weeks later, something really terrible happened". Slang is used instead of expression-words such as "totally" and "really nice" abound, and overall it's just a horrible book. The dialogue between the lovers is trite and unbelievable, and so is the pacing and plot events of the book. I skimmed through the whole book to make sure that the prologue wasn't a fluke-that the whole book continued in the same vein. It did-and just half-skimming/half-reading I was bored. The main character apparently has the mind of teenager, or at least that means of expression. Completely lacking in elegance, polish, talent, or believability, this is similar in style and content to Nicholas Spark's books, but unlike his books displays no maturity whatsoever-Nicholas Spark at least has some writing ability. It's a shame, because about the only thing the book has going for it is that the overall plot and characters do have a lot of potential-it's just completely unrealized.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
If I could return a book just because it is lame, I would have returned this one the minute I finished it. It was not worth the money I spent or the time I invested reading it. I loved "Suzanne's Diary" and hoped this book would bring me as much as that one did...but alas it didn't. It was sappy and stupid and there were just too many obvious shortfalls. For instance, Jennifer supposedly loved her grandmother (Sam) more than anything, but yet once Sam is hospitalized, Jen visits her only twice a day, and spends the rest of her time swimming, flirting and making love to the neighbor so it's not believeable that Sam is anything other than an after thought... As well, the ending was predictable from a mile away (and probably even further for fans of "Suzanne's Diary.") Of course, Sam's coma doesn't last, of course, no great harm comes to Jen's new beau, of course, a baby ties it all up in a happy bow...Gag! I wish James Patterson would just send me my money back along with a promise not to write any more bad books trying to recapture the magic of "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas!"
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
The name James Patterson is synnonymous with some of the greatest thrillers written in the 1990s. Along Came A Spider, Kiss The Girls, and 1st To Die are three of the finest examples of mystery writing that have been offered to readers in years. It was novels like these that rocketed Patterson to international fame. Too bad he can't just rest on his laurels, because with novels such as Sam's Letters To Jennifer, Patterson is robbing his readers of time and money.
The story of this 250 page wonder starts out with journalist Jennifer being called to watch over her grandmother, Sam, who has recently suffered a fall and is in a coma. Naturally, grams is Jennifer's last surviving relative, and her one link to her past. Yada yada yada, Sam has a story to tell Jennifer, and she does it through a series of letters that Jennifer reads throughout the course of the book(always with tears welling in her eyes, as Patterson puts it). Enter the tall, dark, handsome neighbor whom Jennifer was friends with as a child. As luck would have it, he too has a dark secret to tell. Not surprisingly, he and Jennifer fall for one another in a matter of a few days, as is typical in this sort of tawdry romance book. In the end, everything is tied together with a nice bow, with the possibility of a sequel, which Patterson will no doubt release if this one sells well.
Seriously, complete a book of Mad Libs rather than reading this garbage. Sam's Letters to Jennifer joins the ranks of Suzannes Diary for Nicholas, The Jester, and The Lake House as one of the worst books Patterson has ever written. With any luck, November's new Alex Cross novel, London Bridges, will put Patterson back on track to the path of accomplished writing he is capable of.
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