Review: Sincerely: Women of Letters by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire

Title: Sincerely: Women of Letters

Author: Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire

Published: Penguin Viking October 2012

Synopsis: With sold-out live events around the country and a bestselling book, Women of Letters have revived the gentle art of letter writing. In this all-new collection of missives, a dazzling array of noteworthy Australians share their wisdom, wit and wildest dreams. Here Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire have preserved a year of captivating correspondence. The irresistible line-up features Kate Miller-Heidke writing ‘A love letter’ to her twelve-year-old self; Di Morrissey recounting a dramatic encounter with a brood of chooks and a wily fox in a letter ‘To a little white lie’; and Ita Buttrose imagining an alternative life as an opera singer as she writes ‘To the life I could have lived’. A wide range of gentlemen friends have been welcomed into the fold as well, with correspondents including Shaun Micallef, Julian Burnside, Hamish Blake and David Williamson all penning letters ‘To the woman who changed my life’. This funny, touching and charming collection is a delightful presentation of Australian talent from all walks of life. All royalties for this book will go to Edgar’s Mission animal rescue shelter

Status: Read on October 20, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Penguin Australia}

My Thoughts:

Women of Letters originated as a literary stage show conceived by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire. The events, which also operate as a fundraiser for the Edgar Mission for abused,neglected and abandoned farm animals, have become a national sensation, traveling around the country with a changing cast, inviting audience participation and discussion. While the initial contributors were all female, the addition of Men of Letters has proved as popular.
Sincerely is the second curated volume of letters addressing prompts such as ‘To the Woman who changed my life…’, and ‘To the person I misjudged’ by 75 contributors.

The format of this book makes it easy to pick up and put down, though I read it straight through. Each contributor is given a subject but may interpret it anyway they wish. There is enough variety in the responses by subjects to maintain interest from Jaqui Paynes missives to her six children to Libbi Gorr waxing poetic about her iPhone. The tone of the letters veer from the intimate and serious to the irreverent and comedic. While Kamahl, for example, pays tribute to his wife of 45 years with a touching poem, Tim McGuire thanks Buffy the Vampire Slayer for all she taught him.
I can honestly say I enjoyed reading all of the letters though I did have my favourites including Kristina Olsson’s love letter to the alphabet, Morag Kobez-Halvorson’s letter to her health, Catherine Deveny’s unapologetic rant, and Virgina Gay’s ode ‘To the Life I Could Have Lived’.
I would have liked the biographical information included with each letter rather than at the back of the book, as many of the letter writers were unfamiliar to me by name and the context of identity would have been useful to me.

I was tempted to write this review in the form of a letter but I thought that would be a little too obvious. Sincerely is a celebration of life, love and the lost art of letter writing, a wonderful collection and I hop[e to be able to one day attend an event.

Women of Letters Website

Available to Purchase

@Penguin Australia@BoomerangBooks I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. The Australian Bookshelf
    Oct 23, 2012 @ 17:44:44

    I miss the days of letter writing… this one sounds like a great read Shelleyrae



  2. Patty
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 03:00:05

    It sounds lovely…thank you so much for your sweet birthday wishes!



  3. Kate Loveday
    Oct 24, 2012 @ 08:40:18

    This sounds lke a really interesting read, with so many names we know participating. Thanks Shelleyrae.



  4. Trackback: Review: Yours Truly: Women of Letters Curated by Marieke Hardy and Michaela McGuire | book'd out
  5. Trackback: Round Up October 2016 History, Memoir, Biography | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog

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