I loved the concept behind this book: a woman is sent an inspirational postcard with instructions to keep it for six months before sending on to another women who will need its encouragement. There are four clover leaves on the card and the instructions tell each woman to take one before sending it on, keep it safe then all meet outside St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh on a certain date, two years after the first person received it. Toni Jenkins, a local author, was kind enough to give me a copy of her book and as well as loving the sound of it, I was even more intrigued to be given a white envelope with strict instructions not to open it until after I’d read the book!
This was a book I engaged with right from the start, with a prologue from the mysterious sender. Abby is the first woman to receive the card and she is definitely at a low point in her personal life. Like the others who receive the card with its message “You can overcome anything”, she is both intrigued and encouraged by it. I won’t say much about the women who receive the card and why as that would really give away too much of the plot. However, I found myself very involved in their lives and really hoping that they could overcome their various problems. I thought it was very realistic that receiving the card didn’t mean all their worries went away, far from it. In fact, all the women face challenges and sadnesses as their stories are told but take encouragement from the fact that they know there is someone out there thinking about them. And all are looking forward to the day when they meet each other and the sender.
I thought this was a very original story, very well told. I enjoyed reading about all four of the women and along with them, looked forward to them all meeting each other and finding out who the sender was. Toni Jenkins has portrayed each situation movingly and convincingly and I loved that each woman was in a better place after their six months than when we first met them. It made me think about the ripple effect – you don’t know what effect your words and actions have not just directly but also indirectly on people you may never meet. I came across this quote from Dean Koontz when thinking about the way each kindness spread in this story and I think it sums up what Toni Jenkins is saying in her book:
“Each smallest act of kindness, reverberates across great distances and spans of time –affecting lives unknown to the one whose generous spirit, was the source of this good echo. Because kindness is passed on and grows each time it’s passed until a simple courtesy becomes an act of selfless courage, years later, and far away. ”
And as for my white envelope? Well, I did wait until the end to open it and would just say to Toni – thank you, I will carefully consider what is written in it!
My thanks again to the author Toni Jenkins for kindly giving me a copy of her book to read and review. The Sender was published on 1st June 2015 by New Generation Publishing. It is available in all formats and you can order a copy here: The Sender
The Sender – from the back of the book
Can an inspirational card from a secret sender really help change your life? For Abby, Kat, Patti and Tessa, it seems to hold that extraordinary quality. The card instructs each woman to hold it in their possession for six months before sending it on, with an invitation to meet the sender two years from the date of its inception. From Edinburgh to Glasgow, York to Cambridge, the card is sent on a journey to impart its magic. But who is the sender and what was their motive? And why were they the chosen ones?