The Jessica Letters sounded as if it ought to be a good book: a young woman from Georgia starts writing book reviews for a paper in New York. After traveling to the city and meeting the paper’s editor, they begin to correspond, and eventually fall in love. Conceptually, there’s nothing wrong with it. In practice, it’s pretty awful.
Philip, the editor, is smug and condescending and talks a lot about how man has a dual nature and woman a single one. Jessica is arch and stereotypically feminine, and the authors have tried to make her at once intellectual and an angel in the house type, and it doesn’t really work. And then there’s a whole melodramatic thing with Jessica’s father not allowing her to correspond with Philip, which mostly serves to show us that he’s even more self-involved that he originally appeared.
And you know the bit at the end of Jane Eyre where Jane and Rochester apparently communicate telepathically? There’s a thing like that in The Jessica Letters, too, only more so.
I think I might have found it all very interesting on some level if I hadn’t been so busy cringing.
At least it was short.