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The Secrets Behind 53 Letters for My Lover by Leylah Attar: An Interview with the Author

53 Letters for My Lover by Leylah Attar: A Review

If you are looking for a love story that is not so black and white, that spans three decades, and that defies all odds, then you might want to check out 53 Letters for My Lover by Leylah Attar. This is a contemporary romance novel that explores love, loyalty, passion, betrayal, and redemption through the lives of two star-crossed lovers who are bound by secrets, lies, and letters. In this review, I will discuss what makes this book a captivating and emotional read, as well as what makes it a challenging and controversial one.

53 letters for my lover leylah attar epub format

The plot and the characters

The book follows Shayda Hijazi, a woman who has played by the rules for thirty-three years, swallowing secrets, burying dreams, and doing whatever it takes to anchor her family. She is married to Hafez, a successful businessman who loves her but does not understand her. She is also a mother to three children who depend on her but do not appreciate her. She is trapped in a life that is not hers, until she meets Troy Heathgate, a man who does exactly as he pleases, who lives life to the fullest, and who makes her feel things she has never felt before. Troy is everything Shayda is not: untamed, exhilarating, dangerous. He is also everything she wants: passionate, attentive, honest. He is her soulmate, but he is also her downfall. For Troy is not only a stranger who walks into her life one day; he is also a man who has been writing letters to her for years, letters that reveal a connection that goes beyond time and space.

The book alternates between Shayda's and Troy's perspectives, as well as between past and present. Through flashbacks, we learn how they met on their shared birthday in opposite corners of the world, how they lost touch and found each other again, how they fell in love and faced obstacles. Through letters, we learn how they communicated their feelings, hopes, fears, regrets, and dreams. Through their present-day interactions, we learn how they cope with their situation, how they struggle with their choices, how they risk everything for their love. The author does a great job of creating complex and realistic characters who are flawed but relatable, who make mistakes but learn from them, who hurt each other but heal each other. She also does a great job of creating a vivid and engaging plot that keeps the reader hooked from start to finish.

The themes and the messages

The book tackles some heavy and sensitive themes that are not often found in typical romance novels. Some of these themes are: arranged marriage, infidelity, domestic abuse, cultural differences, family expectations, social norms, personal freedom, self-discovery, forgiveness, and sacrifice. The book does not shy away from showing the dark and ugly sides of these issues, nor does it glorify or justify them. Rather, it presents them as they are: complicated and messy. The book does not offer easy answers or solutions, nor does it judge or condemn. Rather, it invites the reader to think and feel, to empathize and understand, to question and challenge. The book does not tell the reader what to believe or how to act, nor does it impose a moral or a lesson. Rather, it shows the reader the consequences and the rewards, the pain and the joy, the loss and the gain. The book does not have a clear-cut ending or a happy-ever-after, nor does it have a tragic or a bitter one. Rather, it has a realistic and hopeful one, one that leaves room for interpretation and imagination.

The book also compares and contrasts with other books or genres that deal with similar topics. For example, it can be seen as a modern and multicultural version of Romeo and Juliet, a classic tale of forbidden love that defies family feud and social conflict. It can also be seen as a subversive and controversial version of Fifty Shades of Grey, a popular series of erotic romance that explores power dynamics and sexual fantasies. It can also be seen as a unique and original version of The Notebook, a bestselling novel of epic love that spans decades and overcomes obstacles. The book draws inspiration from these sources, but also adds its own twist and flavor, making it stand out and shine.

The strengths and the weaknesses

The book has many strengths that make it enjoyable and memorable. Some of these strengths are: the writing style, the emotional depth, the character development, the plot twists, the cultural diversity, the erotic scenes, and the letters. The writing style is smooth and elegant, with rich descriptions and witty dialogues. The emotional depth is profound and touching, with raw feelings and genuine emotions. The character development is impressive and satisfying, with growth and change. The plot twists are surprising and exciting, with unexpected revelations and shocking events. The cultural diversity is refreshing and enlightening, with different backgrounds and perspectives. The erotic scenes are steamy and sensual, with chemistry and passion. The letters are beautiful and heartbreaking, with words and meanings.

The book also has some weaknesses that make it flawed or disappointing. Some of these weaknesses are: the pacing, the length, the editing, the realism, the morality, the ending, and the sequel. The pacing is uneven and slow, with some parts dragging and some parts rushing. The length is excessive and unnecessary, with some parts repeating and some parts missing. The editing is poor and sloppy, with some typos and errors. The realism is questionable and dubious, with some coincidences and implausibilities. The morality is ambiguous and controversial, with some dilemmas and conflicts. The ending is vague and open-ended, with some loose ends and unanswered questions. The sequel is irrelevant and disappointing, with some changes in tone and focus.


In conclusion, 53 Letters for My Lover by Leylah Attar is a captivating and emotional read that explores love in all its forms: forbidden, secret, passionate, painful, healing, enduring. It is not a typical love story; it is a complex and realistic one that challenges the reader to think beyond the norms and conventions of romance. It is not for everyone; it is for those who are willing to embrace the shades of grey that color human relationships. It is not a perfect book; it is a flawed but beautiful one that leaves a lasting impression on the reader's mind and heart.

If you are looking for a book that will make you laugh, cry, swoon, rage, hope, despair, rejoice, regret, then you might want to give this book a try. You might love it or hate it; you might agree or disagree; you might relate or alienate; but you will not forget it.


  • What is the significance of the title?

The title refers to the letters that Troy writes to Shayda over the years, expressing his love for her. There are 53 letters in total: one for each year of their lives until they meet again.

  • What is the genre of the book?

The book is a contemporary romance novel with elements of drama, erotica, and women's fiction.

  • Who are the main characters of the book?

but fears her; and Hala Hijazi, Shayda's mother-in-law who hates her but respects her.

  • What are the main themes and messages of the book?

The main themes and messages are: love, loyalty, passion, betrayal, redemption, family, culture, society, freedom, self-discovery, forgiveness, and sacrifice.

  • How does the book end?

The book ends with Shayda and Troy finally being together after overcoming many obstacles and challenges. They decide to leave their old lives behind and start a new one in a different country. They also decide to burn the letters that kept them connected for so long, as a symbol of letting go of the past and embracing the future.



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