Letters for Emily Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Letters for Emily

Pocket, Jun 2003, 10.00, 214 pp.
ISBN: 0743444477

Though he knows he is dying that does not disturb Harry Whitney. However, Alzheimer's bothers him because he realizes how much the disease has changed him from Grandpa Harry to an old cranky geezer complaining about everything. Harry has several grandchildren, but his favorite is Emily, who visits him every week.
Click here to see the rest of this review

When Harry dies, his daughter-in-law Laura, finds three homemade books filled with his poems and stories. Together with her daughter Emily, who mourns the most over the loss of her best friend, they read Harry's poetry and stories, realizing that each contain a coded password that opens a related computer file. Inside the files are special notes to Harry's beloved Emily to help her in life. Other family members soon read Emily's treasure that reminds them how remarkable Harry had been as a person, father, husband, and grandfather before Alzheimer's destroyed his mind and body.

This inspirational family drama will leave the audience crying for joy and out of sadness. Harry in life and death is quite a protagonist as his wisdom passes down to Emily and others. When the tale focuses on Harry directly or indirectly (the sandwich generation struggling on what is the right thing to do with their father) or on Emily's child-like but mature understanding of him, the book is incredible. When the tale centers on the breakup of marriages amidst Harry's children, it adds depth yet too much angst that weighs down the reader a bit. Still LETTERS FOR EMILY is a powerful and insightful look at the individual members of a family.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Letters for Emily

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   2000+ (Present Day) Family, caring for ill    -   Yes Who is sick?    -   Grampa/ma because he/she is    -   physically ill Family, loving relations    -   Yes Special relationship with    -   grandpa Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   nature of existence (heavy philosophy) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   unemployed Age:    -   60's-90's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   5 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Letters for Emily

Cameron Wright Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian