Aggie’s friendship with Rosie Hughes was shattered fifteen years ago. However, after hearing that Rosie is stationed in Kuwait as a weather forecaster on the the eve of the Iraq War, Aggie buries the past and writes to her. What follows is their series of correspondences and the comforting words they provide as they navigate their different, unpredictable worlds.
There’s something magical about this second-chance friendship. In the opening letter from Aggie, it’s understood that her relationship with Rosie ended badly, but there isn’t an immediate explanation as to what happened. Aggie appears to have just had a moment of spontaneity, but Author Melanie Hudson expertly drops hints in each subsequent letter, peeling back the layers of the connection between these two women.
Hudson deserves praise for how she handles this format. Letters and emails can be intensely personal forms of communication, but they also require a bit of familiarity of the subjects in order to achieve full appreciation. However, as Aggie writes about missed deadlines and writer’s block and Rosie responds with the tensions of war, Hudson uses this rekindled friendship to her advantage— she drops backstory and new complications with ease. It reads as chatty, rather than as the stilted ramblings they could. Even more remarkably, Aggie’s complaints of working as a ghost writer hold up against Rosie’s apprehensions of fitting in in a war zone. These sections are of two friends needing to depend on one another for support, whether that’s venting when a rucksack is too heavy or if a cake isn’t spongy enough.
All of this is aided by the addition of correspondences with other characters. Aggie writes to her mother, Rosie writes to her parents, and a charming doctor who works with Rosie, Gethyn, takes up chatting with Aggie. It’s interesting reading as the same information is disseminated to different individuals— not everyone is offered the same perspective, sometimes complicating their interactions. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s heartbreaking, but it’s always insightful as to what these characters actually believe.
At its core, this is a story of a friendship that feels so real, so true. There’s hope and intense joy, but also devastating pain— everything that comes with loving another person. We should all have what Hudson describes within these pages— a friend that we can turn to, even after fifteen years, and keep on as though time never passed.
Title: Dear Rosie Hughes
Authors: Melanie Hudson
Publication Date: February 01, 2019
Classification: Women’s Fiction
Note: I received a free ARC of this book through NetGalley.