Book Review: The Love Note

19 Nov

I usually read a book in two to three days, but I found that I needed to take more time with The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano. No, it was not slow, but is definitely a book that needs to be savored. I am glad I took my time reading because there is so much to love here. It is highly recommended!


Focused on a career in medicine and not on romance, Willa Duvall is thrown slightly off course during the summer of 1865 when she discovers a never-opened love letter in a crack of her old writing desk. Compelled to find the passionate soul who penned it and the person who never received it, she takes a job as a nurse at the seaside estate of Crestwicke Manor.

Everyone at Crestwicke has feelings–mostly negative ones–about the man who wrote the letter, but he seems to have disappeared. With plenty of enticing clues but few answers, Willa’s search becomes even more complicated when she misplaces the letter and it passes from person to person in the house, each finding a thrilling or disheartening message in its words.

Laced with mysteries large and small, this romantic Victorian-era tale of love lost, love deferred, and love found is sure to delight.

Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods and shares stories that move her at


My Impressions:

I loved the Victorian-era romance The Love Note by Joanna Davidson Politano. A novel about the importance of words deserves an articulate review, but I am still processing all that this book includes. You need to bear with me as I attempt to express my thoughts. Strong characters, a vivid setting, and a mystery-laden plot are all important elements. It is labeled a romance, but its message transcends the love affairs of humans. As main character Willa Duval discovers, there is more to the love note that she finds in her writing desk.

The story centers around young nurse, Willa Duval. Intent on a career as a doctor, she has turned down many a suitor, much to her father’s chagrin. She takes on a bargain and a patient that will determine her future. But as she innocently searches out the writer of the note she has found, she unwittingly sets the inhabitants of Crestwicke Manor on unexpected journeys. I loved all of the characters that Politano so-deftly brings to life. Even those who are not the most pleasant are insightfully wrought. Willa’s first person voice tells most of the story, but other characters are revealed in third person perspectives. Crestwicke Manor is a great location for the book as it overlooks the sea, has a crumbling ruin on the premises, and boasts a seashore with wild horses — oh yes, it is that good. Mystery and romance are intertwined as the love note makes its way from one person to another making all who read it change their life perspectives. The message of the note takes on special meaning for all, and I loved the final revelation that Willa discovers. Spiritual truths are woven throughout the narrative in a completely natural way. I found myself re-reading passages to savor the gems found in this novel’s pages.

I highly recommend The Love Note. Just make sure you have plenty of time to devote to it. Late nights and undone chores are sure to be a part of your life once you begin. I also think that this book would make an excellent book club selection. So if you have someone to read it with, all the better!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)