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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable debut
They say behind each successful man, there's a smart woman. I say behind each hero there's a Marie.

The Letter by Marie Tillman is a heartfelt insight into her life after her husband's death as well as a journey through all stages of grief she's experienced since then. Pat Tillman's life had been in the spotlight very little before he died as both he and Marie...
Published on June 14, 2012 by Camelia Miron Skiba

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read if you've followed the story
I am unoriginal in that I was very moved and drawn to the Tillman drama years back. I first read Krauker's account, then followed it with the documentary, The Tillman Story which was fantastic, and then followed that with Boots On The Ground by Tillman's mother which was excellent. When I heard that his wife had written a book I was feeling I had pretty much read all I...
Published on July 27, 2012 by Earclops


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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable debut, June 14, 2012
They say behind each successful man, there's a smart woman. I say behind each hero there's a Marie.

The Letter by Marie Tillman is a heartfelt insight into her life after her husband's death as well as a journey through all stages of grief she's experienced since then. Pat Tillman's life had been in the spotlight very little before he died as both he and Marie have shied away from the public eye, preferring the coziness of their home, the serenity of their relationship, the comfort of their love. The NFL player who gave up a successful career as a football player to enlist in the army became an icon after his death in April 2004. The circumstances surrounding his death still create a lot of controversy, including two congressional hearings and multiple investigations. Somehow Marie had to learn how to cope with the media infatuation with her husband as well as with all the attention she unwillingly received.

I applaud Marie for her ability to capture real feelings, real emotions making the book that much more intense, allowing readers a close look into a grieving heart. The book contains very little dialogue, but it's easy to follow and finish in one sitting. Its simplicity, its reflection on life's fragility and what matters most as well as how Marie chose to navigate through the murky waters of healing is done gracefully. From a shy lotus lily living in Pat's shadow, Marie grew into a confident woman, working constantly to keep Pat's legacy alive. She went through the stages of grief in her own way, at her own pace, and came out not completely healed but stronger.

The Letter is a compelling, poignant book, a true story of heroism and altruism behind the deadly lines of war.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Must Read..., June 16, 2012
Marie Tillman's The Letter is a wonderful read...I found I couldn't put it down and keep wanting to learn more about this incredible woman's story. I found myself relating the story and message of The Letter to my own life and believe I am better for having read it.

Marie Tillman's writing style...her `voice' (filled with raw honesty and true candor) ...made the experience even more powerful. I look forward to her next work and recommend this book with as much verve as possible.

The Letter is inspirational, Marie and Pat Tillman's story is amazing, and Marie Tillman, in her earned own right, is a national treasure.

Read The Letter and learn more about the continuing work of the Pat Tillman Foundation.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply Insightful, June 14, 2012
The words coming from an inspirational figure such as Marie Tillman will improve and help another ones process of healing. The story touches upon an experience of love, loss and rebuilding. I truly feel after reading this story will bring great value to those who need a real life eye opener.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 stars, July 8, 2012
4.5 stars A quick read which chronicles Marie Tillman's days and years after the death of her husband, Pat. I, too, read Krakauer's Where Men Win Glory and wondered what the family perspective would be. Because of the title, I'd expected "the letter" to be more of a significant player in the book; however, it ultimately becomes just the right focus. As a former Air Force officer who dealt with mortuary affairs, I saw the anguish of loved ones left behind and wondered what their lives would be like once the military stepped away and life had to go on. Marie tells of hiding away, of trying to stay out of the spotlight but still keep Pat's memory and Foundation going, and of fearing returning to the social and dating scenes. I appreciate Marie's candor and willingness to let us in on her world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tillman tells the whole story, nothing held back, April 2, 2013
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Usually stories about loss are extremely sappy and religious. This was straight and to the point. She had no words for her loss, and she didn't try to find God in all the pain. This story really spoke to me in that sense. Not everyone is religious, but everyone experiences pain. I felt it was well written and one of the better memoirs I have read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching and honest, August 15, 2012
I was impressed with the way that Marie opens herself up in this honest and moving memoir. Pat Tillman was an extraordinary man and she has done a wonderful job keeping his memory alive and running a wonderful organization in his name. I was deeply moved by this memoir and her journey through an unimaginable and horrific ordeal of Pat's death and consequent cover up. Thank you Marie for writing this book, for sharing Pat Tillman with the world.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Letter is a must-read, June 19, 2012
Marie Tillman captured the hearts and sympathy of the nation when her young husband Pat Tillman was killed in Afghanistan. In the months and years following his death, Marie searched for her path in life and how to continue without Pat. In his "Just in Case" letter left behind were the words from Pat that would carry her forward.

This book is written purely from the heart, with raw emotion and honest feelings openly shared. Marie has done an amazing job of bringing us into her world and showing us her journey through her grief. If you have lost someone special to you, or ever tried to help someone in their grief, The Letter will speak to you.

Amazing book...and what an amazing young lady Marie is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!!, June 15, 2014
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What a wonderful tribute to her fallen husband. Our US military family's are amazing. God bless all of them!! :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Intimate Look at Marie's Journey and at Pat Tillman, January 12, 2013
By 
Jim (Illinois) - See all my reviews
In the opening paragraphs an Army chaplain and 3 Army messengers in full dress uniforms call on Marie Tillman at work in Seattle with news of Pat Tillman's death in a firefight in Afghanistan. This begins her personal journey of grief and recovery and an intimate look at her relationship with Pat. The book is divided into three parts spanning the years 2004-2010. It is equal parts her internal and external life as she deals with her grief and the acceptance of his death, reflections on the long development of their relationship, her relationship with Pat's Family especially Kevin, Pat's brother who had enlisted with him and reaction to the publicity surrounding Pat's death.

The "Letter" of the title refers to the "just in case" letter written by Pat after his Iraq deployment, prior to redeployment to Afghanistan. Placed on her dresser, it stayed sealed until after his death. She tells us that such letters are common. The soul of the letter is Pat's request of her "...to live..."

She tells us that her family and that of Pat knew each other from the time she was four years old. I particularly enjoyed her reflections on Pat Tillman as the two of them grew up and their relationship evolved from acquaintances. One of the themes is the gap between the public use of Pat's sacrifice and the sensitive and intelligent human that he was. With all the public accolades, learning 30 days after notification of his death that it was fratricide was a kick in the gut to her and Pat's Family. We read her account of the persistence of the family to get the truth of the coverup, the Congressional hearings and the testimony of Donald Rumsfeld and Army Generals.

She discusses her evolving work life at ESPN, with work related moves from Seattle to New York, to L.A. and finally to Chicago to heading the Pat Tillman foundation. Other subjects include her first romance, her trip to Buenos Aires to learn the tango, her developing self reliance and transition to a life of goals from one of sorrow.

I recommend this book for its insight into the character and personality of both Marie and Pat Tillman. The extraordinary publicity surrounding his death created an icon. This book humanizes them both.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heartfelt, honest and meaningful book., January 2, 2013
By 
Valerie L. Tower (raleigh, nc United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Marie thoughtfully writes of loss, grief and the journey to recover and this book really hit home for me. She is honest and her emotions are raw. She doesn't sugarcoat her feelings. I was so impressed at how she was able to deal with her grief her way and held steadfast to the journey she needed to take to heal rather than do what others thought she should do. Based on that, I recommend this book to anyone who is dealing with grief or loss. I took so much away from her writings - much more than any self help book that I've read in a while. Thank you Marie for your courage in recounting your story and I send my deepest condoldences to you and your family.
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The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss, and Life
The Letter: My Journey Through Love, Loss, and Life by Marie Tillman (Hardcover - June 26, 2012)
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