I’ve had many pen pals throughout my life, mostly from junior high through high school. Before my teen years, I wrote Jenny whose family served as missionaries in the Philippines. After my first time at a sleep away camp the summer between my seventh and eight grade years, I gained a few more pen pals. Doug and April wrote fairly often. Tara and I stayed connected a little longer.
But there was one person I became pen pals with that became one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I met Craig that same summer I started writing my other new friends. We continued writing regularly all the way through high school and into college. Even after we were both married, our families would send Christmas cards to each other.
How did the friendship last that long when all we shared were letters? There’s a lot you can say in a letter. We chatted about the unimportant stuff that made up the bulk of our days. But we also shared our dreams and struggles and faith with each other. We could be completely ourselves in the letters we wrote, and it created a friendship I’ll always be grateful for.
Old-fashioned, snail mail letters can connect people who never get together physically in deep ways. It’s not only the truth, this is also the premise of Writing Home by Amy R. Anguish.
Christiana longs for that deeper connection. Jordan’s cousin encourages him to write Christiana. It comes as a surprise to find they’re both struggling with making the place they live feel like home.
As they continue to write and encourage each other in various aspects of their lives, their relationship deepens as Christiana hoped it would. She can talk to Jordan about the mundane and the struggles, and he can do the same with her. They challenge each other’s perspectives and cheer each other on to growth. In doing so, Christiana and Jordan learn more about themselves and find their daily lives can have some of those things they’d been missing.
Friendship has been the goal from the start, but as they grow closer they wonder if friendship can turn to lasting love when they’ve never met. If so, where does that leave them? Miles separate the people that the letters have brought together.
Writing Home is a sweet romance that reminds each of us to seek deeper connection, learn about ourselves, and find home. For me, the story also brought up special memories I have of the friends I made through writing letters. I may never have fallen in love through writing, but I recall how it felt to be connected over the miles through the words on a page.