The Letter Tree

Rachel Fordham’s novel, The Letter Tree, was an enchanting blend of historical fiction, romance, and a touch of mystery, reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, albeit with a much happier ending. 


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.

“I wonder whether you and I ever cross paths when we stroll through the park…. Have our eyes met, and we didn’t know it?” ~ Rachel Fordham

The characters in this novel were showstoppers! Despite her hardships and isolation, Laura radiated kindness, forgiveness, and unwavering hope. Her dreams for a better life and true love were so pure, making me enjoy her character arc all the more. Simultaneously, Isaac’s quest for a life with purpose and his unwavering integrity made him a standout lead. His respectful demeanor, accountability for his actions, and genuine kindness made him someone to admire. 

The Letter Tree weaved a delightful tapestry of friendship, loyalty, and love. I especially loved reading Laura and Isaac’s letters. Unlike Romeo and Juliet, they faced their forbidden relationship with resilience, grace, and determination to reconcile their families rather than running off in disgrace. 

Of course, I must give a shout-out to Charlie, Isaac’s best friend, and the one responsible for most of my laughs. He brought humor into the serious themes of this novel and made me appreciate what true friendship looks like. Charlie was devoted to Isaac, but made sure he wasn’t masked in the shadows of the upper class.

The Letter Tree was my first, but not last, novel by Rachel Fordham. I found her writing engaging and evocative, drawing me into every detail. I appreciated how she handled the story and didn’t allow her characters to succumb to bitterness after they were mistreated. The narrator also did a great job of bringing everything to life, putting a voice to the words so I could immerse myself in the book while going about my daily chores. 

Overall, The Letter Tree is a captivating and heartwarming read that will leave an impression on readers. If you’re looking for a comforting yet engaging literary escape, The Letter Tree is the book for you. 

*Thank you, NetGalley and the publisher, for providing me with a pre-release copy of this novel. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.*

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My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Positive content: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Godly content: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sexual content: ⭐️
Violence: ⭐️
Age: 14+

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