Bilodo lives a solitary daily life, routinely completing his postal rounds every day and returning to his empty Montreal apartment. But he has found a way to break the cycle—Bilodo has taken to stealing people’s mail, steaming open the envelopes, and reading the letters inside. And so it is he comes across Ségolène’s letters. She is corresponding with Gaston, a master poet, and their letters are each composed of only three lines. They are writing each other haikus. The simplicity and elegance of their poems move Bilado and he begins to fall in love with her. But one day, out on his round, he witnesses a terrible and tragic accident. Just as Gaston is walking up to the post-box to mail his next haiku to Ségolène, he is hit by a car and dies on the side of the road. And so Bilodo makes an extraordinary decision—he will impersonate Gaston and continue to write to Ségolène under this guise. But how long can the deception continue for?
What a beautiful, poignant, love story this novel is! This novel has captured my heart and ran off with it, this is such a lovely story full of optimism and hope and has really touched me. This would not be my normal read because although I am a very romantic person I do not like to read romance novels much because I find them to be very cliche as well as sometimes irritating! However this novel has a twist and when I read about somebody impersonating somebody in letters to a loved one, I knew I had to read it! Novels with a twist like this grab my attention as they are not conventional romances (such as The Rosie Project which I adore by the way!) and I have to say that this is one of the loveliest novels I have ever read!
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman’ is the story of a postman called Bilodo. Bilodo is a twenty-seven year old man and he is an introvert like so many people are in this world. Although Bilodo lives a secluded life he is not very lonely although it might appear this way to those around him and to the outside world. His everyday routine, like him is simple and inconspicuous – he goes to work in the morning, sorts through the mail and then takes the ones allotted to him and deliverers them to their respective addresses. Bilodo may seem the ordinary man however in the evening he is a different person. After dinner he takes out personal letters which he was supposed to have delivered that day – which he has kept hidden inside his jacket – and steams them open and secretly reads the correspondence, taking a peak into the private lives of strangers and just generally being nosy! After reading those conversations and making copies of them, he then deliverers them the next day.
At first this letter opening for Bilodo was a bit of harmless fun to cure his curiosity because lets face it, I would personally love to read peoples letters because I am a curious woman by nature but of course I never actually would so reading about this was fascinating to me! However it soon turns into being more than fun when he falls in love with a woman from letters he has steamed open from a couple. The novel then takes an almost sinister turn when the male correspondent is killed and instead of leaving the matter he decides to continue the correspondence impersonating the woman’s partner.
What a quirky, moving plot this is! I loved the whole premise of this novel and fell in love with it before I even started reading it. There are times in your life as a reader when you come across that one book that touches your soul and feels you with delight and this is mine with this wonderful book. I love letter writing and love reading novels in the form of letters and diaries and if you want to know how much I really do love these kind of novels then browse my reviews of Gone Girl and Swimming Lessons! My point is that I really adore the lost art of letter writing and as a generation who barely put pen to paper, it makes this novel really poignant and powerful. Here is a really lovely quote I picked from the novel about letter writing:
“More alluring by far were letters from others. Real letters, written by real people who preferred the sensual act of writing by hand, the delightfully languorous anticipation of the reply, to the reptilian coldness of the keyboard and instantaneity of the Internet – people for whom the act of writing was a deliberate choice and in some cases, one sensed, a matter of principle, a stand taken in favour of a lifestyle not quite so determined by the race against time and the obligation to perform.”
This is such a beautiful quote and so beautifully lovely. I am sure most of you know by now that I am British whereas my husband is American and in the beginning of our relationship we would write letters to each other getting to know each other and letting each other know how much we love each other. It was so beautiful and to this day on birthdays and holidays we write each other a letter instead of getting each other a card. Letter writing is beautiful and I truly wish more people wrote them and I hope this novel inspires people to do so!
Although Bilodo has done a very bad thing, as a reader you cant help but admire him and his poetic beauty. He is a wonderful character that will make you fall in love, you wouldn’t think at the beginning of this novel that you would end up rooting for him but you do and although he has done a terrible thing, he genuinely loves the woman and that is enough for me. This novel really does ask some moral questions. What would you do if you found out your competition essentially had passed and you was able to talk to the love of your life without her ever second guessing because she has never seen his face? Would it be harsh? Would it be ok because you are sparing her sadness? Let me know your thoughts below!
To summarise, The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman’ is a beautiful, poignant, quirky love story and unlike any novels published today. The authors beautiful prose throughout the book makes you read in wide-eyed wonder at how visually stunning it is but also how compelling it is to read. Their was many times throughout this novel that I had to take a step back and re-read the passage or sentence I had just read and let it linger for a while from how stunning it was. This read was a really enjoyable experience and was so lovely to read about two beautiful souls falling in love with each other via Haiku poetry and the words they exchange in their letters. This novel may be short but it is dense and full of wonderful literature as well as many twists and turns after each chapter, so please, read this novel and fall in love! The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman gets Five Stars from me!
Thank you for reading lovely book lovers! I really hope you love the sound of this novel and if you do please do comment below and let me know your thoughts! Also let me know what you think of Bilodo and his predicament and what you would do. I love talking with fellow book lovers so let me know your thoughts below! Thank you so much again for reading!
Goodbye for now book lovers,
P.S. Here is a preview of the book for all of you lovely readers to enjoy! If you have loved what you have read and want to buy the wonderful novel then you can click the buy on amazon button and it will take you straight to Amazon U.K.! If you are international then click the Book Depository link underneath it! Thank you so much again for reading!
Update* My review for the sequel; The Postman’s Fiancee will be up next week!