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July 24 , 2008

Letters From Leonard


When Paul receives a phone call telling him his best friend has committed suicide, he begins reading Leonard's old letters in an effort to find out why. Paul, the reliable family man married to the woman they had both loved, and Leonard, the wild man, had been friends from childhood. Leonard had kept Paul informed of his life in a series of letters describing his time in the US Air Force in Germany, drug and alcohol abuse, and a continuing spiral downwards.

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Paul sets out to follow across the America described in Leonard's letters. The two road trips, Paul's and Leonard's, interlock. Paul's turns into a journey of discovery as Paul becomes obsessed with tracing his friend's steps over the last days and months of his life. Along the way, Paul comes face to face with his own demons and self-destructive nature as he risks everything including his job, his marriage and his family, to put the ghost of his friend to rest.

"I admit to being a little apprehensive at the 500 plus page length of the novel before I began reading S.E. Kennedy’s novel, Letters From Leonard. However, once I began I found myself wanting to read more and more at each sitting. The tale reaches many points where it is hard to put down. Narrated in the first person, the story is of Paul Sanderson, a happily married family man, who receives news that his childhood life-long friend, Leonard, had committed suicide. From there the story relates the torment Paul goes through trying to come to terms with his best friend’s death. Using many 'letters from Leonard' as flashbacks to enlighten the reader as to the special bond Paul and Leonard had shared since they first met at school, Paul embarks on a series of expensive adventures and risks everything including his marriage, his job, his friends and even his sanity, in an effort to discover the reason behind Leonard’s death. The book is a good read and, if my experience is anything to go by, a real page-turner." Neil Hutchison author of A Fool in Paradise.

"Hard to put down. The most interesting novel I have read this year by far." Les Abbey author of Soi Shanties.

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