The Lost Letter

(7 customer reviews)

At fifty-three years of age, Trudy Quinn is trying to convince herself that her twenty-four year marriage is worth saving. While balancing her second career as president of a non-profit organization, she’s busy preparing for her estranged husband’s return home from Iraq while planning an engagement announcement for her daughter. All seems to be coming together until a lost letter shows up, mailed thirty-five years before, in 1975. After reading it, she concludes that if she had received that letter on time, it would have changed her life. Little does she realize that receiving that letter, reading the contents, and her subsequent decisions would send her on a collision course with her past that will change her life.


There are no valid statistics on the volume of mail lost by the US Postal Service each year. They do, however, have mail recovery centers set up in Atlanta, Saint Paul, and San Francisco to facilitate the challenge of trying to sort the millions of pieces of mail sent to them each year, called dead mail, and get it delivered to its designated recipients. A lot of lost mail is simply put in wrong boxes or people move and leave no forwarding address or incorrect addresses are given.

Often in the news we hear about unusual or untimely mail delivery. In 2010 a letter mailed 100 years ago from the maiden voyage of the Titanic was found . The letter, written by a young doctor to his mother, had been mailed from Cobh, known as Queensbury, the last port the Titanic visited before continuing its journey on the ill-fated voyage. The doctor didn’t survive but his 100-year-old letter did.

Lost love letters have always intrigued me. A glimpse at someone’s heartfelt letter written to a significant other, decades ago, captures my imagination and leaves me longing to know the outcome. Did the undelivered letter make a noteworthy difference? Could it have changed someone’s life if it had been received?

Occasionally, we are privileged to learn how lost love letter stories unfold. A couple living in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, recently received a letter sixty years late. It was the proposal letter sent by a US Army serviceman to his sweetheart. He had married her anyway while on military leave. In 1993, a young French girl and British boy attending school together in England sparked a romance that lasted for six years but ended when a letter was misplaced. After finding the letter 1 ten years later behind a fireplace mantle, they made contact and their reunion led to marriage.

And then there’s the story of a lady I’ll call Trudy, whom I met through a longtime friend in Lynchburg, Virginia. Hearing of my interest in lost letters, Trudy shared with me the letter she received in May of 2010. The envelope was postmarked August 15, 1975. After reading it, I knew there was a tale longing to be told. With her permission, this is her letter’s story.

7 reviews for The Lost Letter

  1. 5 out of 5


    Mr. Stevens is one of our local authors so we were fortunate to have him review the book for out book club. He is as engaging as his works. This is the third book I’ve read by this author. I can’t wait to read more. His works offer a nice escape. Characters are well developed, issues are clear…until the little twists and turns!

  2. 5 out of 5


    I enjoyed reading this book and I’m looking forward to this author’s next publication. I like his writing because there’s very little reputation and gets right to the story. I had the honor of meeting Donnie Stevens at our book club group.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hannah L. Boyd

    I’m a huge fan of Nicholas Sparks and Karen Kingsbury so I’m slightly apprehensive to read anyone else’s work, however, I’m so thankful I did. This book was absolutely amazing and I highly recommend. The writing style is up there with Nicholas and Karen while having its own style. I literally could not put this book down. Can’t wait to start on the next Donnie Stevens book!!!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Charlie’s Mommy

    A beautifully written book about past love, lasting friendships, and family. Packed with emotion it was easy for this reader to get “lost” in this love story. Once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down… wanting to see what was going to happen next. Looking forward to your next book!

  5. 5 out of 5

    M. Cunningham

    Endearing and Compelling Story

    I’ll start by sharing that I am from Virginia, so it was quite enjoyable to read a lovely story taking place in an area I know. The characters are endearing, the story unfolds nicely, and I was hooked all the way to the end! It is light-hearted yet also quite introspective for someone nearing their mid-life years. I definitely recommend it!

  6. 5 out of 5


    This is the third novel by this author. I loved this one much better than his first. It gave a much better closer to the ending. Around chapters 15-18 things really start moving along; to where you can’t put it down! Lots of happenings in chapters 22 & 23. Buy it and enjoy…you’ll want to pass it along to a friend!

  7. 5 out of 5


    This book is definitely a five star.

    I just could not put this book down. I would recommend this book to everyone.

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