Sunny Shelly’s Review: Seven Letters, by J.P. Monninger

Book Jacket.Seven Letters.jpg

From the author of The Map That Leads to You comes another sweeping, romantic novel about love, family, and what it means to build a home together, SEVEN LETTERS (St. Martin’s Griffin; October 8, 2019, $16.99). 


The Blasket Islands are the heart of Ireland – once populated with some of the most famous Irish writers, they are now abandoned, filled with nothing but wind and silence. Kate Moreton, a PhD student at Dartmouth, is in Ireland to research the history of the Blaskets, not to fall in love. She has a degree to finish and a life back in New Hampshire that she is reluctant to leave.

But fall in love she does, with both the wild, windswept landscape and with Ozzie, an Irish-American fisherman with a troubled past who shares her deep, aching love for the land. Together, they begin to build a life on the rocky Irish coast. But when tragedy strikes, leading Kate on a desperate search through Europe, the limits of their love and faith in each other will be tested.

Sunny Shelly’s Review: 4 Stars

I have mixed feelings about Seven Letters. This is the first book I’ve read by J.P. Monninger, and I was very impressed with the setting of the story. I could so vividly imagine the Irish isles in my mind. Could practically taste the salt air. I loved everything about the setting, and thought that Kate and Ozzie’s romance was a unique one.

But here is where my mixed feelings come in: I just didn’t think they had an EPIC love story. And I think a lot of that has to do with not knowing more about Ozzie. I wish we got more inside his mind, what he was going through. He was clearly tortured as a result of his time at war, and those demons were hard for him to shake. It manifested in many ways, the worst of which had him and Kate splitting. But when they split, I was sad, but I wasn’t gutted. And I wanted to be. So when the rest of the story unfolded, I didn’t feel the tug at my heartstrings that I wished I would.

There is a nice cast of supporting players. Milly is a great friend, Gran was a darling old woman. I enjoyed the story very much, but I didn’t think it was the epic love tale that i expected it would be.

I received an advanced copy via Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press and voluntarily left a review.

About the Author

J.P. MONNINGER, author of The Map That Leads to You, is an award-winning writer in New England and Professor of English at Plymouth State University.


Additional Praise for J.P. Monninger

“Romantic and unforgettable.” 

Nicholas Sparks on The Map That Leads To You

“Monninger’s debut novel will strike a chord with fans of Nicholas Sparks’ 

sweeping and sentimental tales.” 

Booklist on The Map That Leads To You

“A gossamer confection, spun sugar at the summer carnival. It’s also an inspiriting estival fling, one that, as Heather says of her relationship with Jack, melts any residual winter ice. 

The New York Times Book Review on The Map That Leads To You


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