From the author of the #1 bestseller Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas
Have you ever gotten a letter that changed your life completely? It happened to me once. I still can feel the urgency that overtook me as I opened the envelope and the hunger I felt for whatever that letter would say. It seemed as if my entire life hung in the balance as I read.
Sam's Letters to Jennifer is a novel about that kind of drama. In it, a woman is summoned back to the town where she grew up. And in the house where she spent her most magical years she finds a series of letters addressed to her. Each of those letters is a piece of a story that will upend completely the world she thought she knew - and throw her into a love more powerful than she ever imagined could be possible. Two extraordinary love stories are entwined here, full of hope and pain and emotions that never die down.
I hope you'll enjoy this novel as much as I've enjoyed writing it. It's not often that you get a letter that changes your life. But it should happen to everyone at least once.
I GRIPPED the phone receiver tightly with both hands. "What's wrong?"
I heard him suck in a breath before he spoke again. "Ah, there's no good way to tell you this, Jennifer. Your grandmother has taken a fall," he told me. "It's not good."
"Oh, no!" I said, and sent my thoughts out to Lake Geneva, a resort community about an hour and a half north of Chicago. Lake Geneva was where I'd spent most of the summers of my childhood, some of the best times of my life.
"She was all alone in the house, so no one knows for sure what happened," he continued. "Just that she's in a coma. Can you come up to the lake, Jennifer?"
The news was a jolt. I'd just spoken to Sam two days before. We'd joked about my love life and she'd threatened to send me a box of anatomically approximate gingerbread men. Sam is a comedian, always has been.
It took me all of five minutes to change my clothes and throw a few things into a duffel bag. It took me a little longer than that to catch and cage Euphoria and Sox for an unexpected journey.
Then I was gunning the old Jag up Addison Street, heading toward I-94 North. The '96 Jaguar Vanden Plas is a midnight blue sedan that was our pride and joy, Danny's and mine. It's a handsome thing with a quirky detail; the car has dual gas tanks.
I was trying to think about everything but Sam. My grandmother was the only one I had left now, the only family.
Sam was my best friend after my mother died when I was twelve. Her own marriage to Grandpa Charles made me and everyone else want what-ever it was that they had. My grandfather wasn't the easiest guy to get to know, but once you broke through to him, he was great. Danny and I had toasted and roasted them at their fiftieth-anniversary gala at the Drake. Two hundred friends stood to applaud when my seventy-one-year-old grandfather dipped Sam low and kissed her passionately on the dance floor.
When Grandpa Charles retired from his legal practice, he and Sam stayed at Lake Geneva more than in Chicago. After a while, they didn't get so many visitors. Even fewer came after my grandfather died four years ago and she moved to the lake full-time. When that happened, people said that Sam would die soon, too.
But she didn't. She'd been doing fine - until now.
At about 8:15 I got on Route 50 West and took it to 12, a local two-laner that skirts Lake Geneva - the BPOE, "best place on earth." After three miles, I turned off 12 onto Route NN. Lakeland Medical Center was just a couple of minutes away and I tried to prepare myself.
"We're close, Sam," I whispered.
Copyright © 2004 by James Patterson
Anne Heche is an actor known for her work in film and television. Her movies include SIX DAYS SEVEN NIGHTS, WAG THE DOG, DONNIE BRASCO, PSYCHO and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. She won an Emmy playing twins on ANOTHER WORLD, and guest-starred on ALLY McBEAL. This is her third audiobook narration, after Stephen King's THE GIRL WHO LOVED TOM GORDON and her own CALL ME CRAZY.
JANE ALEXANDER's distinguished acting career has included a Tony Award-winning performance in the Broadway production of THE GREAT WHITE HOPE, an Emmy award-winning role in the TV movie, PLAYING FOR TIME, as well as six other Tony nominations. She has earned four Oscar nominations for her work in ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN, KRAMER VS. KRAMER, TESTAMENT, and the film version of THE GREAT WHITE HOPE.
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