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Review: If You Find This Letter by Hannah Brencher

About the Book

A heartwarming memoir of love and faith from Hannah Brencher—founder of The World Needs More Love Letters—who has dedicated her life to showing total strangers that they are not alone in the world.

Fresh out of college, Hannah Brencher moved to New York, expecting her life to look like a scene from Sex and the City. Instead, she found a city full of people who knew where they were going and what they were doing and didn’t have time for a girl still trying to figure it all out. Lonely and depressed, she noticed a woman who looked like she felt the same way on the subway. Hannah did something strange—she wrote the woman a letter. She folded it, scribbled “If you find this letter, it’s for you…” on the front and left it behind. 

When she realized that it made her feel better, she started writing and leaving love notes all over the city—in doctor’s offices, in coat pockets, in library books, in bathroom stalls. Feeling crushed within a culture that only felt like connecting on a screen, she poured her heart out to complete strangers. She found solace in the idea that her words might brighten someone’s day.

Hannah’s project took on a life of its own when she made an offer on her blog: She would handwrite a note and mail it to anyone who wanted one. Overnight, her inbox exploded with requests from people all over the world. Nearly 400 handwritten letters later, she started the website, The World Needs More Love Letters, which quickly grew. 

There is something about receiving a handwritten note that is so powerful in today’s digital era. If You Find This Letter chronicles Hannah’s attempts to bring more love into the world—and shows how she rediscovered her faith through the movement she started. 

Review

Hannah Brencher's memoir, If You Find This Letter was an absolutely inspiring story, which opened my eyes to a whole new world full of people with needs I never wanted to recognize before. Brencher's movement is an inspiration, not just because of its selfless character and desire to elevate people around the world through the combined power of words and love, but also because of its origin story, which is very similar to a lot of its readers in its fight against brokenness and search for something "bigger than ourselves" to hold on to. This book is not only a fun read, it also does what only very good books do: it challenges us to improve ourselves and our perspective on the world by opening our eyes to the rawness of the world around us.

A great read for college students, in particular, who are following in the same steps that Brencher took as she left home in order to pursue a future which was not always clear. Readers of this age group can relate to the goodbyes, the hellos, and the fear of loneliness that the author undergoes as she faces growing up in a world that is bigger than the palm of her hand. If You Find This Letter, is a phenomenal read for people of any age group, in all reality, because of its superior storytelling, sincerity, and focus on the simplest and most complex element in our world: love.

Reviewed by Sofia Millar

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