Letter from Home
Out of the blue, G.G. Gilman receives a letter from her girlhood friend Barb Tatum. In it Barb proposes they should meet – the two have not seen each other since the end of the summer of 1946 when Barb’s mother, Faye, was murdered. The girls are now old women. Like a summons straight from G.G.’s past, the letter puts her back into the town where she grew up. Back to living with her beloved grandmother; back to her first summer job at the age of 14 as a reporter for the Gazette. Back to being Gretchen Gilman…
Gretchen grapples with her first success as a reporter, intent on following the facts of stories rather than fitting selected details into predetermined conclusions. This brings her to write a sympathetic account of Barb’s murdered mother when most of the townspeople prefer to think Faye brought about her own demise, maybe even deserved it.
Letter from Home is a mystery with a gentle, naive quality. All of Hart’s characters are effortlessly real, right down to the busybody neighbors. A good portrait of small town America in the 1940s.