BOOK REVIEW: “The Letter Writing Project”


the letter writing project

“The Letter Writing Project” by Wendy Wolff (c) July 2014, Blooming Twigs Books, $17.95


By Scarlett Vargas

These days it’s very hard to find a book that not only teaches you a lesson but that’s also interesting to read. But at the end of the day I found one titled The Letter Writing Project by Wendy Wolff.  I personally really loved this book because it showed me how bad it would be if I lost someone I truly loved and I had never gotten the chance to tell that person how much they meant to me. So, after reading this book I started noticing how valuable it was to share every moment with those you love because you never know when they can be gone.

This book is pretty much a tribute to Mrs. Wolff’s sister Donna, who died on April 2nd, 2011.  That day at 4:55 pm a man fell asleep as he was coming off the highway to stop at a red light.  Instead of stopping, he fell asleep with his foot  firmly pressed on the gas pedal and plowed at full speed right into the driver’s side of Donna’s car while she was patiently waiting on the red light so she could get on the highway. Donna was taking her youngest son to visit a friend. I imagine how awful it must have been to perhaps be singing an uplifting song with her child just before getting hit by an irresponsible driver and killed.

It’s very important to know the rules of the road because the other driver could have just pulled over and taken a nap.  Instead he drifted from across the road’s divider, and the sleeping man instantaneously killed Wendy Wolff’s big sister. This accidental amount of irresponsibility took away a great mother, sister, wife, and friend from the world. Now in the minds of those close to her will always remain the hysterical and earsplitting screams made by Donna’s mother as she passed the news that her daughter was dead to everyone over the phone.  So, later on, due to Mrs. Wolff’s passionate reaction to this event, she decided to write a book composed of letters she writes to people towards whom she feels anger, or to whom she wants to apologize for something that she herself has done.

The first letter Wendy wrote was directed towards Donna.  It’s a letter in which she complains about the hurtful words she said that day when Wendy invited Donna to the celebration of her eldest son, and Donna replied after hearing Wendy’s invitation:  “I could go but I’m  making the conscious choice not to go.” When those words came out of Wendy’s sister’s mouth Wendy felt let down and disappointed. That was the cause of Mrs. Wolff’s pain.  She never got to tell her sister how much she loved her before she died, because instead their last conversation was an argument. Another letter that was very moving and in which you could actually feel all the emotions coming through the words, was the letter directed towards the driver that killed Donna. In that letter I could hear her yell at the driver for being an irresponsible idiot who took an amazing human being away from the world.

The reason I find this book amazing is because The Letter Writing Project helped Wendy Wolff to peel back the layers and figure out what is important in her life. The book also helped me notice some things that were important in my life too. She found out through letter writing what she loves and what she doesn’t love and also discovered some things that you or I might find very uncomfortable. Some letters she never had any addresses for and yet she still wrote them because writing them leads to her self-discovery.
With most of her letters she tried to eliminate any possibility–if tragedy should strike again in her life–that she might again be left with unspoken thoughts festering inside of her. Donna died with Wendy feeling a bit out of touch with her, and Wendy can never take that back. This is the reason why I’ve now started talking to my sister a bit more. Thinking about a tragedy taking my sister’s life away filled my eyes with tears, so I decided to appreciate what I had because I never know when I could lose it.

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