Sam's Letters to Jennifer

Sam's Letters to Jennifer

BY James Patterson

From the author of the #1 bestseller Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

Dear Reader,
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.

Yours,
James Patterson

Chapter Five

SAM'S HOUSE was my favorite place in the world, the sanest, and always the safest - until tonight anyway.

Now everything seemed off-kilter. The kitchen was dark, so I threw on the light switch. Then I put down the cats and opened their cage doors.

The girls sprang forward like little racehorses out of the gate. Sox is three-quarters alley cat, one-quarter loudmouth Siamese. Euphoria is an all-white longhair with green eyes and a smoochy nature. My hands were still shaking from stress as I fed the two of them.

Then I walked from room to room, and it all looked exactly the same.

An old burnished hardwood floor secured with square-headed nails. A chaotic mass of houseplants crowding the bay window in the dining room. An astonishing view of the lake. Books spread everywhere. Bel Canto. Queen Noor's memoir. A Short History of Nearly Everything.

And the artifacts that Sam and I loved: antique ice tongs from the days when blocks of ice were shipped by horse teams to Milwaukee and Chicago; old snowshoes; paintings of the round pink crab apple trees along the lake and of the old train depot. I heaved a big sigh. This really was home to me, more than anywhere else, especially now that Danny was gone from our apartment in Chicago.

I took my duffel bag upstairs to "my room," with its views down onto the lake.

I was about to drop the bag on the vanity table when I saw that it was already occupied.

What is this?

There were a dozen banded packets of envelopes, probably a hundred envelopes in all, maybe more. Each was numbered and addressed to me.

My heart started thudding as I guessed about the letters. For years, I had been asking Sam to tell me her story. I wanted to hear it, and record it for my own children to hear. And now here it was. Had she known what was going to happen to her? Had she been feeling sick?

I didn't bother to undress. I just slid into the soft folds of bedcovers and took a stack of the letters into my lap.

I stared at my name written in blue-inked script. Sam's familiar handwriting. Then I turned over the first envelope and carefully peeled open the flap.

The letter inside was written on beautiful white linen paper.

I took a deep breath, and noticed I was trembling as I began to read.

Copyright © 2004 by James Patterson

Read by Anne Heche & Jane Alexander

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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Sam's Letters to Jennifer
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