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Which Brings Me to You: A Novel in Confessions    by Steve Almond & Julianna Baggott order for
Which Brings Me to You
by Steve Almond
Order:  USA  Can
Algonquin, 2006 (2006)
* * *   Reviewed by Kerrily Sapet

The story begins with a rambunctious romp in the coatroom at a boring wedding. But John stops in the heat of the moment because he senses that he might really like Jane, and he wants to get to know her. John and Jane part, in an attempt to start a relationship properly. They vow to write each other letters, telling each other everything and aiming at intense honesty (no matter how embarrassing) over attempted seduction. They hope to end up liking and knowing each other before diving into another relationship doomed to fail like the rest of them.

Authors Steve Almond and Julianna Baggott each lend the perfect voices to John and Jane as letters are traded back and forth in the novel, Which Brings Me to You. Sometimes sweet, sometimes gut-wrenchingly sad, often hilarious, and yes, sometimes seductive - but above all honest - the letters are revealing. Each one peels back a layer of hurt or joy, showing John and Jane's mistakes, flaws, and passions. The end result is the overall looming question to be determined as the book progresses. Each character wonders where all of this emotional soul-baring will lead. But that can only be known when they meet again.

Which Brings Me to You is a creative joy to read. John and Jane are fantastic letter writers, and it's fascinating to watch their relationship unfold with each new missive received. It is truly a novel in confessions, and reads like turning the pages of a secret dual diary. For any romantic who loves a few good character flaws, some laughs, and of course those sweet touching moments, this book is a must read. Its unique idea, of back-and-forth communication by letter, makes it enjoyably fresh and different.

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