Book Review: The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.”

― Joanna Davidson Politano, The Love Note

Joanna Davidson Politano's The Love Note is said to be an incredible tale. This is the tale of a misplaced love letter and its enormous influence, which finally drives each finder to perform at their highest level. This tale of love missed, love forgotten, and love gained is filled with secrets both big and little.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings--mostly negative ones--about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa's search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words.

My reaction to this novel..

This is the first Politano novel I've read. The Love Note tells the story of how a strange, undelivered love note impacts several members of a home as it passes from one person to the next. I found Willa's narrative to be the least engaging even though it was clearly the heart and subject of the story. I found the plot of Willa and Gabe to be predictable and dull, and I didn't like for Politano's overly sentimental, intense writing style. I think the only reason I even kind of enjoyed the book was because she let her characters share their sentiments and views about God and their connection with Him, along with the quotes that were included in each chapter.

Anyway, after I finished reading the book and decided to give it a rating on Goodreads, I was astonished to find how highly rated it was and how many positive reviews it had received. Because my opinions of the novel tilt more negatively than theirs do, I wondered if I had read the same book that they had. This book was difficult for me to get into. I'm not sure how I managed to keep reading and sticking with it. The worst thing I could have thought of was to put the book down while I was sorely tempted to skip the pages. There is a lot of meandering, and the sluggish development of the anticipated love tale made me lose interest.

In addition, I felt that the characters' use of contemporary language drew me away from the location and left the story lacking in substance and specifics. Moreover, I thought the portrayal of the period lacked truth. Particular to that is a slew of excessive explanation and too much infusing representations of the characters' sentiments. Some readers might find this to be interesting, but I thought it was unduly lyrical. This left me feeling odd and uninterested. There are other instances when I am reading this book and do not notice that my eyes are slowly drooping, and after an hour, I wake up wondering what happened to the novel since I completely forgot what occurred.

Then again, the slow-moving love story in this book made it tiresome for me to read, and when you thought something wonderful would happen, there was nothing and no magic at all. It was as if the author was just playing with her readers' expectations by pretending to write a good love story when, in reality, she had written nothing more than just an ordinary romance. I won't suggest it to those who don't thoroughly enjoy languid love stories since it will certainly bore them.

My Overall Rating: ⭐✨(1.5/5)

“The secret to finding true love is not in discovering someone who will give it to you but learning how to give it.”

Love is more about learning how to give than it is about receiving. We show someone we care about them because we genuinely feel that way, not because we want them to feel the same way about us. Some people really believe that if they love someone, they must love them in return. However, in my opinion, when we love someone, we put ourselves at risk of being hurt until we understand the lessons we learn as a result of that love.


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.