Author: Rachel Fordham
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: October 31, 2023
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Mere words can’t end their families’ feud, but the Campbell heir and the Bradshaw heiress plan to write a future together.
Buffalo, NY, 1924
Laura Bradshaw adores stories with happily ever afters. But since her mother died seven years ago, the Bradshaw Shoe Company heiress has been as good as locked away in a tower. Her overbearing father cares little for her dreams, throwing himself instead into his tireless takedown of his competitor, the Campbell Shoe Company. However, Laura has been gifted with a reprieve: a mysterious friend with whom she’s been exchanging letters.
As heir to the Campbell Shoe Company, Isaac Campbell is a sought-after bachelor who has never felt an inkling of desire for the women who constantly bat their eyes at him. His thoughts are consumed by an oak tree in the Buffalo Zoo—or rather, the mystery woman he exchanges letters with courtesy of the tree. She’s been one of Isaac’s only joys in a life consumed by his father’s tireless hatred of Bradshaw. A hatred that, Isaac is coming to realize, may affect him more personally than he ever imagined.
When Laura’s father orchestrates a match between her and an important business owner, she resolves to pursue her only chance at freedom. But Isaac believes their story isn’t bound for a tragic ending. He’s certain there’s more to the Bradshaw-Campbell feud than meets the eye. And he won’t stop digging until he uncovers the truth that might bridge the divide between him and the woman whose words have captured his heart.
Reviewer: Winnie Thomas
Set in Buffalo, New York in the 1920s, The Letter Tree by Rachel Fordham is a lovely, easy-to-read historical romance. With vibes of Romeo and Juliet and You’ve Got Mail, this story features Laura Bradshaw and Isaac Campbell, the offspring of two feuding previous business partners. Although Laura and Isaac were friends as children, when their fathers separated the company into two competing shoe manufacturers, the children were forbidden to associate with each other.
A frequent visitor to the Buffalo Zoo, Laura hides some poetry in a tree where Isaac finds it and writes back anonymously. For years they communicate back and forth with the Letter Tree as their unofficial post office.
The setting is unique, the characters are well-drawn and engaging, and the tale has enough twists, turns, and intrigue to make the somewhat predictable plot interesting and entertaining. I’ve enjoyed this talented author’s other books and am happy to add this one to my shelf.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy from the author. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
How did I miss this book when it came out? The Letter Tree by Rachel Fordham is a delightful romance that every historical fiction fan will love.
Laura Bradshaw loves happily ever afters and fairy tales. She imagines her prince charming coming one day to rescue her from her tower, where her father has imprisoned her ever since her mother passed away. Well, not really. But she feels trapped because of his behaviour toward her. His hatred for her mother and his hatred for a rival shoe company, Campbell Shoes, has made her life miserable and lonely. Her only solace is her anonymous pen pal, whom she has been writing to for years through a tree. Yep, a tree. She wrote her heart out one day and stuck her poem in a hole in a tree. Little did she know it would be answered, and she would find a BFF in a mysterious stranger.
Isaac Campbell is the heir to Campbell shoes and has no idea the letter he found in a tree belonged to Laura Bradshaw, the daughter of his father's sworn enemy. As his correspondence with Laura grows into a desire to meet his "mystery woman," he has no idea that long-held secrets and family feuds are about to be exposed, changing their lives forever.
Rachel Fordham has created a book that not only has a Romeo & Juliet vibe, but it also has an added mystery man and a secret that will keep you guessing until almost the very end. If you like historical romance, you will love The Letter Tree.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Thomas Nelson through NetGalley for my honest review.
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
I received an orange pencil for this and just now discovered it.
I am loving this book so much! I am so blessed that God has given me the gift of reading and writing. I'm going to start my review by saying this: Mrs.Guskin is a good woman and is a blessing to Laura Bradford. Laura is lucky to have her. I wish I had someone like Mrs. Guskin! She's full of wisdom and wonderful advice.
I love this quote from the Letter Tree because too often we give our hearts to the wrong men and vice versa.
"Make sure he’s coming back for the right reasons.”
“It’s not a bad thing if my dating Abel helps Father, too. I may want to leave here, but I don’t wish ill on Father."
“You’ve a generous heart, but you don’t have to make Abel fit into it. And as for your father, he’ll have to decide if he wants to be happy again—you can’t force it. Whatever happened before, it wasn’t your fault."
“You go and have a good time. And remember: The right man will want to know all of you.”
This was a wonderful story, and I love the idea of putting letters in a tree. Sort of like a pen pal! And at a zoo of all places! This feud between the Campbell and Bradford families I didn't much care for, but it definitely makes the story interesting!
In my opinion, this is the best novel that Fordham has ever written. I loved every minute of it! I will be adding this one to my keeper shelf as well, and I look forward to her next book! I highly recommend this beautiful story.
Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for a copy of this book. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own!
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